Police Ask for Help Catching Suspects Linked to Five King County Take-Over Bank Robberies

Last summer the North Bend Chase Bank experienced a take-over style robbery.  Today, local law enforcement agencies are asking for the public’s help in catching armed robbery suspects the are calling “Big Top Bandits,” who have robbed banks as far east as Newcastle.

Detectives from the King County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO), Seattle Police Department and the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force are investigating a series of five King County armed take-over style bank robberies, all occurring since January 2013.

suspectThe latest happened last week on July 1st in the east King County City of Newcastle. At this time, detectives consider all five cases linked and continue to investigate the actual number of suspects involved.

Police say the July 1st Bank of America robbery in Newcastle is the first time two suspects entered a bank together. All prior robberies were committed by a single suspect entering the banks.

The May 22nd  Washington Federal robbery in Seattle resulted in a suspect firing a gunshot inside the bank.  The June 8th Burien Sterling Savings robbery resulted in a bank teller being struck in the face.  Despite several customers and employees being present, the suspects still rob while displaying and pointing handguns in all cases.

For the first time, detectives are releasing surveillance photos of a suspect vehicle believed to have been used in the February robbery: a blue 1983 – vehicle1987 Mercury Marquis.

Today, July 8, 2013, the King County Sheriff’s Office released a video with surveillance clips of a five robberies and is asking for the public’s help to apprehend the suspects.

A reward is  being offered through Crime Stoppers.  Callers can remain anonymous and are eligible to receive a cash reward of up to $1,000 if the information leads to an arrest and charge of person(s) involved.  (To be eligible for the reward, a person must provide the information through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) 

Tips can also be called in to the KCSO Communication Center at (206-296-3311) or 911.

Robbery locations to date:

  • 1-16-13 Newcastle Key Bank
  • 2-28-13 Rainier Ave Key Bank
  • 5-22-13 Rainer Ave Washington Federal Bank
  • 6-8-13 Burien Sterling Savings Bank
  • 7-1-13 Newcastle Bank of America

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