West Seattle Crime Watch: Bank robbery in Morgan Junction

October 20, 2011 at 2:25 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news, WS breaking news | 29 Comments

(Photos by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
ORIGINAL 2:25 PM REPORT: Police have rushed to the Washington Federal branch at California/Fauntleroy in Morgan Junction after a robbery report. According to what we are hearing on the scanner, the suspects are described as two men, apparently wearing Halloween masks. There are two reports that the getaway car might be black – a witness near the kitty-corner Thriftway saw men carrying at least one pillowcase jump into a car there and take off. Police are on the lookout all over West Seattle and the city, and also reportedly trying to determine if it’s part of a recent series (we haven’t had any here in WS lately).

2:44 PM UPDATE: Added a photo from WSB contributor Christopher Boffoli, who’s at the scene, and says Seattle Police have given him a few other details – the robbers were white, male, and wearing hoodies, as well as the aforementioned “Halloween masks.” Police confirm they are looking for a black getaway car. Scanner traffic says the robbers were believed to be armed with a shotgun and a handgun.

3:32 PM UPDATE: No word of any arrests so far. A few more details from Christopher at the scene: “The bank manager confirms the branch is closed for the rest of the day and as patrons have been showing up, they’ve been directed to use other branches. SPD detectives are on scene and are reviewing camera footage. They’re also taking pictures in the alley north of the bank location.” We asked him if they had been told what the robbers’ reported “Halloween masks” looked like. One description so far: Possibly a George W. Bush mask.

29 Comments

  1. These robberies just keep getting closer and closer to my mom’s house… It’s making me want to move back home to make sure I’m there if something were to happen…

    Comment by Anonymous — 2:48 pm October 20, 2011 #

  2. I hope the employees are ok.
    .
    Never a dull moment in WS!

    Comment by chet — 2:51 pm October 20, 2011 #

  3. call 911 and tell them that, BLK. It happened just a few minutes before we published our story – ace scanner monitor Katie heard the call, sent word to us, then we got something up as soon as scanner was clear a couple minutes later that it was really a robbery and not a false alarm – Tracy

    Comment by WSB — 2:57 pm October 20, 2011 #

  4. Never thought I’d see so many bank robberies in WS. There has been 1 every few months for the past few years. WSB has done a great job covering all of those crimes.

    Comment by chet — 3:07 pm October 20, 2011 #

  5. No plates? No bumper stickers or markings? Honda civic isn’t very descriptive to narrow it down….

    Comment by A — 3:30 pm October 20, 2011 #

  6. Maybe if SPD was able to get back to their real jobs instead of babysitting aimless/goalless protestors downtown, criminals might start thinking twice.

    Comment by WTF — 3:47 pm October 20, 2011 #

  7. No further info. There are conflicting reports of possible vehicles – somebody behind Thriftway saw a black Honda, but there’s also a black Lumina that officers were wondering about on the scanner. We always encourage law enforcement to provide more descriptive info, not less, but generally we only get what we happen to hear on the scanner …

    Comment by WSB — 3:59 pm October 20, 2011 #

  8. Thank you WTF! It seems like since the protest has started, more crimes have been occurring in West Seattle. The protesters aren’t causing any harm. At least not to the extent where we need all our officers baby-sitting them…

    Comment by Anonymous — 4:00 pm October 20, 2011 #

  9. I once interviewed a reformed bank robber who was an executive at Pioneer Industries, a private local company with a national reputation for successfully putting ex-cons to work in their small manufacturing facilities in and around Seattle, as well as providing transitional housing, which their clients, the ex cons, pay rent out of the money earned. They’ve been around for almost 40 years.

    The executive had been a professional bank robber for 20 years, supporting a family and an upper middle class lifestyle in the suburbs. He and his partner would tell their family and friends that they were traveling salesmen and go on long “sales trips” several times a year, always to different parts of the county and all very carefully planned out. No bank was ever more than 1 minute from a major escape route, they would wait 5 years before going back to the same city, and because they were decent guys, their holdup gun was never loaded and in fact broken. They were caught when the cylinder fell out of the gun and some big customers jumped them.

    He was one of the smartest guys I’ve ever met and I’ve often wondered how many others like him are out there.

    Comment by Mort — 4:07 pm October 20, 2011 #

  10. The economy is doing pretty good now so I don’t get it with this bank robbing stuff. The markets on its way up to 12,000 pts. There are tons of jobs out there.. Go get one.

    Comment by Jiggers — 4:18 pm October 20, 2011 #

  11. Are there any cops from southwest precinct downtown? I wouldn’t think so.

    Comment by austin — 4:23 pm October 20, 2011 #

  12. looks like from the history of bank robberies in west seattle that they won’t get caught. easy prey here i guess

    Comment by w.s. maverick — 4:37 pm October 20, 2011 #

  13. @WTF maybe if the real criminals like Bush and WS donors had been prosecuted OWS wouldn’t have to use their sacred American right and protest for some accountability.

    Comment by neighbor — 5:01 pm October 20, 2011 #

  14. why no helicopters this time?

    Comment by add — 5:01 pm October 20, 2011 #

  15. ADD – another TV secret. They mostly staff their choppers in morning and pm newscast times. This coincided with neither. Bank robberies tend to be not particularly spectacular in terms of visuals – couple police cars outside the bank (as you see above) – so if they’re not already up, they wouldn’t necessarily launch for this even if a chopper pilot IS around. Last but not least, there is a likelihood that pilots are off because it’s all hands on deck next week for Viaclosure and if you need time off, now’s the time to take it. (all of the previous just my somewhat informed speculation, the truth may be none of the above) … Not sure why Guardian One wouldn’t be deployed, though … TR

    Comment by WSB — 5:09 pm October 20, 2011 #

  16. austin: A SPD sergeant told me today that some Southwest Precinct officers have indeed been rotated over to Westlake Park to assist officers at the West Precinct with the protests there.

    Comment by Christopher Boffoli — 5:26 pm October 20, 2011 #

  17. Interesting that these robbers also used pillowcases just like what was reported in the home invasion from the other night. Are pillowcases that common in robberies and home invasions or might these crimes be connected?…hummm…obviously these criminals are locals here to West Seattle.

    Comment by CCR — 5:28 pm October 20, 2011 #

  18. @ Jiggers, really??? The economy is doing fine and there are plenty of jobs? Where, I’m curious, do you get your news?

    Comment by Rob — 5:39 pm October 20, 2011 #

  19. My heart goes out to the entire staff of the WaFed branch. I hope everyone is OK.

    Comment by CB — 5:40 pm October 20, 2011 #

  20. @Jiggers please don’t comment on the stock market since you obviously know nothing about it or the economy. I manage money for a living and both the market and the economy suck and don’t look to get better any time soon.

    Comment by Dave — 7:04 pm October 20, 2011 #

  21. “and because they were decent guys, their holdup gun was never loaded and in fact broken”

    Mont,

    There’s something incongruous about calling bank robbers decent guys.

    Comment by TriciaN — 7:34 pm October 20, 2011 #

  22. Years ago I was a bank teller for a local bank. We were robbed & it was terrifying! You don’t know the persons state of mind & you are so vulnerable! When one is the victim you don’t know if their weapon is real, broken or loaded…

    Comment by PamEvelyn — 7:47 pm October 20, 2011 #

  23. Not the first time this bank has been hit. I remember 5-6 years ago I was on my back deck and heard 3 shots in the direction of the Morgan junction. I called 911 and reported it. I found out later that same bank had been robbed and an officer had shot a suspect in the street one block east of the bank. 1/2 block west of where I was standing on my deck. Bank robberies are not safer because the gun is broken. That “Broken Gun Bandit” is lucky he didnt get shot in all those years of bank jobs.

    Comment by Morgan resident — 8:13 pm October 20, 2011 #

  24. Guys.. Jiggers is being sarcastic!!

    Comment by Cclarue — 8:40 pm October 20, 2011 #

  25. The staff at WaFed thank those who extended their expressions of concern for us. We were a bit shaken but all are ok.
    The Seattle Police and the FBI were on the scene in less than 5 minutes and we are grateful for their efficiency and their professionalism. We were very happy to see them!

    Comment by Kathy — 12:17 am October 21, 2011 #

  26. @neighbor: Your protest sign is spelled wrong. Better walk back into the alley and fix it.

    Comment by polecat — 8:04 am October 21, 2011 #

  27. I find it offensive that anyone would make light of people’s lives in such danger. I’m just happy to hear that everyone’s OK. This bank is one of the last not to have people barriers installed.
    Very sad, but it may be the only way to protect the terrific people that work there.

    Comment by Dunno — 8:57 am October 21, 2011 #

  28. “call 911 and tell them that, BLK.” – WSB
    -
    I thought I read everything, but I still cannot find ‘BLK’?
    -
    Who is ‘BLK,’ and what did he have to say?

    Comment by nulu — 9:03 am October 21, 2011 #

  29. nulu: BLK was a poster that made a comment about perhaps having information relating to the robbery. It appears the comment was removed for some reason, but the editors left their response in the comment thread.

    Comment by Christopher Boffoli — 11:16 am October 21, 2011 #

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