DARING DAYLIGHT BANK ROBBERY IN MONROE
October 01, 2008
(MONROE, WA) -- In a daring daylight bank robbery with an odd getaway twist that led to the Skykomish River, an unidentified man successfully made off with a bag of money from the Monroe branch of Bank Of America just after 11:00 a.m. yesterday. The bank is located at 19917 Old Owen Road in Monroe.
Police say the robber, wearing cut off jeans and carrying what appeared to be a can of pepper spray or other compressed air eye and skin irritant, was evidently waiting outside the bank as a Brinks Security Guard came out of the bank with a bag of money headed toward an armored car.
When the guard walked outside the bank the robber reportedly rushed the guard and disabled him by spraying the guard in the face with the can of irritant, then grabbed the money bag, ran across the street and was last seen running into Eagle Park on Wood Creek which feeds into the Skykomish River. The security guard was treated by medics at the scene for what appeared to be temporary irritant injuries sustained in the spray attack.
Monroe police officers responded to various spots on the river and a police helicopter and tracking dog were also employed in the search, however the robbery suspect got away prior to police arriving on the scene. Police believe an accomplice who was waiting in a vehicle picked up the robber.
As he ran away from the bank the robber reportedly tossed off a baseball cap, wig and a mask. The man had evidently waited outside the bank for the guard prior to the robbery by reportedly posing as a gardener or other ground maintenance person. He was noticed wearing gloves, a mask and was toting what appeared to be some type of chemical spray pump, leaving bystanders the impression the man was there legitimately to spray chemicals on landscaping elements around the bank.
Police believe the robbery was well planned and they think the man had a lookout at the bank of the river. One witness reported seeing a man parked outside watching through binoculars.
An inner tube was found along the river bank and while police believe the inner tube may have been involved in the getaway scheme it was unknown if the tube was used in some way or had simply been placed at the river as a backup getaway opportunity.
Following the robbery bank customers who were turned away for the day as police collected evidence and gathered statements from witnesses.