Update: Bank robbery at Alaska USA inside Westwood Village QFC

August 31, 2010 at 11:39 am | In West Seattle news, Westwood, WS breaking news | 26 Comments

(Photo added at 12:32 pm)
ORIGINAL 11:39 AM REPORT: We’re receiving reports of SPD units responding to a bank robbery call at the Alaska USA Federal Credit Union in Westwood Village. We’re off to check it out.

12:32 PM UPDATE: We’ve confirmed that the Alaska USA Credit Union inside the Westwood Village QFC was robbed earlier today. The branch is currently closed while investigators process the scene. We’ll be checking with SPD for more information and will post an update as soon as we learn more.

4:17 PM UPDATE: FBI Special Agent Fred Gutt has provided us with a bit more information now. He said they are seeking a white, female suspect. Approximate age and hair color were not provided. She was estimated to be about 5′ 4″ and 140 pounds, wearing a black vest over a gray hoodie, with a black hat and stonewashed jeans. She also had a swollen upper lip. A weapon was not seen and only “implied” but he said the suspect should still be considered armed and dangerous. Special Agent Gutt said the suspect left the scene on foot.

26 Comments

  1. I wish that banks in the United States would follow suit to the security that is used in Central American Banks!! I know we are Federally secured here but come on this is nuts that these people can still walk out of a bank with cash. Then the police have to spend their time trying to find them, helicopters, dogs, not to mention if there is a chase the danger that is posed upon innocent citizens.

    Comment by Silly Goose — 11:45 am August 31, 2010 #

  2. Geez, again?

    Comment by datamuse — 11:46 am August 31, 2010 #

  3. West Seattle is a easy target. Maybe more police

    Comment by Barry — 12:02 pm August 31, 2010 #

  4. That bank is inside the QFC. I hope they catch them right away.

    Comment by attachedmomma — 12:04 pm August 31, 2010 #

  5. Wow- again? I almost went there this am- that is my bank.
    I hope the tellers are alright! Scary stuff.

    Comment by Vera @ Village Green Nursery — 12:12 pm August 31, 2010 #

  6. Drove by 25th & Roxbury twenty minutes ago and noticed a lot of police cars, don’t know if its related.

    Comment by xyz — 12:16 pm August 31, 2010 #

  7. Saw that as well xyz… staging maybe?

    Comment by Amanda — 1:15 pm August 31, 2010 #

  8. we need ONE officer per bank – how many banks are in west seattle? I wonder why West Seattle is the target for robbing Banks! sheez!!

    Comment by samson — 1:25 pm August 31, 2010 #

  9. We actually did respond to 25th & Roxbury as well. We received information about many units being called to that intersection.
    .
    It may have been related to the ongoing search for a suspect. But we have not yet confirmed that yet with SPD and cannot say so for sure.
    .
    Lots of police cars doing searches of the surrounding streets. But otherwise, not clear about exactly what was happening there.

    Comment by christopherboffoli — 1:25 pm August 31, 2010 #

  10. Its crazy these people are so daring as to rob one INSIDE the QFC!!

    Comment by Michelle — 1:36 pm August 31, 2010 #

  11. Not that I am professional or anything, but I believe WS is an easy target because we have easy freeway access. My Father-in-Law told me that.

    Comment by bsmomma — 1:37 pm August 31, 2010 #

  12. When I moved here from NYC, I was shocked at how open the banks were – back east the tellers are encased in bulletproof glass from floor to ceiling. There is no open contact with anyone who has money – keeps the tellers safe and the money much less likely to be stolen. Might sound drastic and impersonal, but it might be time to start considering this here in general in banks.

    Comment by Sue — 1:58 pm August 31, 2010 #

  13. Sue,

    Many banks have the glass, most of the Chase locations (Admiral, Junction) have glass for one. I think banks feel the added cost of the glass and the less open they are justifies the insurance they pay anyways to cover a robbery here and there.

    Comment by Carson — 2:04 pm August 31, 2010 #

  14. Carson, I didn’t realize that – every bank I’ve personally had dealings with since moving here have been the more open design, so I assumed most were like that.

    Comment by Sue — 2:22 pm August 31, 2010 #

  15. Sue I agree with you, Chase finally installed these glass walls after being robbed mulitple times.
    In centeral america you are greeted with an armed guard at the entrance of every bank, he opens the door for you into a small enclosed glass lobby area, an armed guard on the inside opens the interior doors for you, and then once inside elevated above the bank floor is an armed guard in an bullet proof cage if you will watching over everyone. It was a little nerve wrecking but their banks are almost never robbed and if they are the robber never leaves without capture. We need to follow this type of security with our banks!!

    Comment by Silly Goose — 2:28 pm August 31, 2010 #

  16. The way the suckazz economy is going, I’m surprised there isn’t more of them happening. Ca$h is king! Credit sure isn’t anymore. Wait unitl they totally stop unemployment extentions..

    Comment by brokeasajoke — 3:00 pm August 31, 2010 #

  17. Holden and Delridge, 7 cruisers and man in handcuffs. About 2:45 PM. Could this be related?

    Comment by BBGuest — 3:20 pm August 31, 2010 #

  18. The fact that someone can not only walk into a bank–but a bank inside a supermarket–and rob it and not get caught demonstrates a perception criminals seem to have of West Seattle lately: that they aren’t going to get caught by the police if they commit a crime here. Now, I think it’s too easy to always blame the police for everything, but it’s also hard to argue with the fact that criminals are getting more brazen here in West Seattle. Two robberies at the same bank in Westwood Village in less than a year? And another robbery at Chase also in Westwood Village within that same year? It seems that people perceive this little corner of Seattle was a wild wild West.

    Comment by bridge to somewhere — 4:54 pm August 31, 2010 #

  19. Per The Blotter in the Seattle Times, a US Bank was robbed in Redmond last Friday. It looks like the same set up as the Alaska Credit Union in our QFC. They released a picture. Does anyone know of there will be a photo released in this case? The Alaska Credit Union branch has cameras…

    Comment by Garden_nymph — 5:08 pm August 31, 2010 #

  20. bridge to somewhere: I think a Wild West response (a shoot-out or car chase) is exactly what law enforcement is trying to avoid. When the Junction Neighborhood Organization brought up the subject of bank robberies with SPD Officer Tom Burns last May, he said that the issues of drug abuse and bank robberies are closely related… that the banks in the Junction and in the Admiral district are prime robbery candidates because you can get on the West Seattle Bridge quickly and be gone.
    .
    He went on to say that essentially 99% of bank robbers are caught because, since most of them are drug addicts, investigators can usually look at the amount of money that was stolen and calculate when the robbers will strike again based on the burn rate of how quickly they’ll go through the money buying drugs. Additional patrols can be put in place on the days that police determine that robbers will return. He said repeat offenders have a declining success rate: “90% the first time, 50% the first time and 10% the third time.”

    Comment by christopherboffoli — 5:18 pm August 31, 2010 #

  21. Does anyone know if the man/woman who robbed the Key Bank in the Junction a few months ago, has been caught?

    Comment by Todd_ — 6:14 pm August 31, 2010 #

  22. I still cant understand why the Admiral Bank of America doesnt have safety glass.Occasionally they hire a security guard but is it really a good idea to keep risking these tellers lives and the customers by “saving “money and not having the glass installed instead?Enough is enough in our community.

    Comment by Alki Resident — 6:43 pm August 31, 2010 #

  23. Alki resident- I agree. Wonder if we should talk to a branch manager?

    Comment by ad — 9:21 pm August 31, 2010 #

  24. Isn’t bank robbery a Federal crime? If so, I wonder what the statistics are regarding bank robberies in the US by state, city, etc.? It SEEMS like West Seattle gets hit by bank robbers every few weeks… I wonder if we’re really experiencing more of these crimes than the rest of Seattle, or if it only seems so b/c we have the WSB reporting crime in more “real time” fashion?
    .
    Times are hard. We also live in the Meth Capitol of the World (well, adjacent to it anyway – hello Pierce County!). People do stupid and dangerous sh*t when they’re desperate and/or strung out.
    .
    A beefed up police presence in WS probably wouldn’t be a bad idea; but then it’s always seemed paltry to me (as an LA Girl I’m often shocked at how rarely you aee cops here in Seattle given our issues in the city with gangs, homelessness & drugs).
    .
    Makes ya not want to go INTO a WS bank, that’s for sure.

    Comment by Cheryl — 5:04 am September 1, 2010 #

  25. Meth capital of theworld is in Hawaii by the way..

    Comment by brokeasajoke — 8:31 am September 1, 2010 #

  26. I used to work for a “major financial institution” that has a branch on California and Admiral. When I worked for them, the internal talk was that it was the most robbed bank in Washington at the time. I have been looking for documentation to support that but have been unable to find anything, so its just hearsay, take it for what you will. I did find this for anyone interested…..
    http://www.popcenter.org/problems/robbery_banks/2

    Comment by Shane — 9:35 am September 1, 2010 #

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