'Armed and dangerous' suspects sought in Seattle area bank robberies


by KING 5 News


Posted on July 8, 2013 at 4:09 PM

Updated Monday, Jul 8 at 10:21 PM

Detectives with the King County Sheriff's Office, Seattle Police Department and an FBI task force are asking for the public's help in identifying an "armed and dangerous" suspect in five armed takeover-style bank robberies that have happened in King County since January.

"The suspects seem to be getting more and more bold in each one," said Sgt. Cindi West, KCSO Spokesperson.

Authorities on Monday released video and photos of the suspects, nicknamed the "Big Top Bandits," taken during the robberies. Authorities say the first four robberies were committed by one suspect, while the fifth involved two.

Kristi Roze with Absolute Security Alarms in Ballard viewed the video with King 5, and she was impressed with the surveillance equipment. The former detective commented on the fact that you could see clear images of the suspects' faces.

"Somebody is going to watch this and go I know those two," said Roze.

Police say the main suspect appears to not be afraid to "control both customers and employees" and displays "escalating" violence. He fired a gun in one bank robbery and struck a teller with his fist in another.

The main suspect is described as a black male, 5'07", medium build, wears a mask but often forgets to pull it over his face. The robberies occurred at the following locations and dates:

Jan. 16 - Newcastle branch of Key Bank
Feb. 28 - Rainier Ave branch of Key Bank in Seattle
May 22 - Rainier Ave branch of Washington Federal Bank in Seattle
June 8 - Burien branch of Sterling Savings Bank
July 1 - Newcastle branch of Bank of America

Anyone with information is urged to call 911 or the King County Sheriff's Office, the Seattle Police Department of the FBI. Crime Stoppers in also offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and charges in the case. Call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (3311)