Update: Bank robbery north of The Junction

May 16, 2014 at 6:09 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news | 23 Comments

6:09 PM: Police are searching for someone who is reported to have robbed the Washington Federal branch at California and Dakota north of The Junction. More to come.

6:17 PM: We talked with a sergeant at the scene, who told us a “masked adult male” (ski mask type of mask) went into the bank around 5:30 pm. He demanded money, and it was “believed he had a weapon”; he escaped with an undisclosed amount of cash, a bit of which he dropped in the parking lot. Nobody is hurt. It was close to closing time so the bank is closed for the rest of the day. Police are trying to figure out if the robber had a getaway vehicle waiting nearby. This is the first bank robbery in West Seattle in a long time – we can’t find one in our archives more recent than two years ago, when our area’s other WaFed branch was held up.


  1. Oh No! That’s MY Bank – and it’s full of just the friendliest people you’d ever want to meet. Glad to hear that no one was hurt.

    Comment by Curtis — 6:22 pm May 16, 2014 #

  2. Sad how almost common place these bank robberies have become in WS.

    Comment by Enough — 6:28 pm May 16, 2014 #

  3. Enough, they are NOT commonplace – maybe you commented before I added the line, but this is the first one in at least two years. That’s still one too many, but other areas of the city have had many others in the meantime.

    Comment by WSB — 6:37 pm May 16, 2014 #

  4. Ok, maybe that wasn’t the correct term but you have reported on many in the past 4 or 5 years, no?

    Comment by Enough — 6:45 pm May 16, 2014 #

  5. I agree with Curtis, the staff at that branch are the nicest people. They always make my day when I go. I hope they are all OK.

    Comment by Slider — 6:46 pm May 16, 2014 #

  6. why don’t they put GPS in the money pack? give them whatever they want but with a GPS in the money. call the cops and have them trace the GPS.

    Comment by joel — 6:47 pm May 16, 2014 #

  7. 2009-2010 was kind of a peak. The robbers do tend to get arrested eventually – I’ve noticed that even with serial robbers reported in other parts of the region. Here’s hoping they’ll get some photos out on this one – being that it’s Friday night, might not be immediate, though I’d imagine police are circulating them if they got the guy on video in the bank …

    Comment by WSB — 6:48 pm May 16, 2014 #

  8. WSB, that’s why I said,” almost common place. “

    Comment by Enough — 6:56 pm May 16, 2014 #

  9. @Enough regardless of your words, the tone of your comment suggested that these robberies are happening frequently. Stop arguing. Thanks WSB for frequently correcting commenters (on this story and other (especially Bertha-related)) where the negativity can spin out of control. The West Seattle community is what you make of it! :)

    Comment by Trinity Anchors — 8:47 pm May 16, 2014 #

  10. I really was surprised to find it’s been two years. A few White Center bank robberies since then, but none in WS. Downtown and vicinity is where they seem to hit now.

    Comment by WSB — 9:44 pm May 16, 2014 #

  11. I go to Starbucks most mornings before work and even the four cops that sit in there say that WS has had a lot of bank robberies. Easy access to the freeway I was told.

    Comment by Westie — 7:19 am May 17, 2014 #

  12. Didn’t the Viking Bank on Alaska (just east of the AK Junction) get hit before it changed to another bank? Wasn’t that less than 2 years ago?

    Comment by Defending Enough — 8:34 am May 17, 2014 #

  13. Three years ago. http://westseattleblog.com/2011/05/bank-robbery-viking-bank-in-the-junction
    So long ago, it’s on its second ownership change since then (now HomeStreet Bank, one of our newest sponsors, previously AmericanWest Bank, and Viking before that).
    Believe me, this really is the first bank robbery in two-plus years. Hoping they’ll have surveillance photos Monday!

    Comment by WSB — 8:47 am May 17, 2014 #

  14. Bank robbers up here might get caught but in the U.S. less then half are captured, so sadly most get away with it.

    Comment by Carol O, — 9:07 am May 17, 2014 #

  15. Link to 2009 FBI report on bank robberies in the United States http://www.redding.com/…/fbi-report-most-bank-robbers-get-away-with-it

    Comment by Carol O, — 9:34 am May 17, 2014 #

  16. “Easy access to the freeway I was told.”


    Comment by Curtis — 9:40 am May 17, 2014 #

  17. Technically, SPD did respond to a hold-up alarm at AmericanWest bank in the Junction on September 9, 2013. But it was determined to be accidentally triggered. I wonder if that’s the one readers are thinking of. I can’t seem to find the post but I’m sure WSB covered it.

    Comment by cjboffoli — 10:05 am May 17, 2014 #

  18. It used to be that the images captured by security cameras were really bad and even if a face wasn’t covered with a mask of some sort, you could never identify the robber. That’s been improving in the last couple of years.

    Comment by artsea — 10:38 am May 17, 2014 #

  19. Forgot about that one – but yes, it was a false alarm. Even brought a TV chopper (sigh):

    Comment by WSB — 11:06 am May 17, 2014 #

  20. My wife took our son to get a haircut at Trams next door and came out to find the place surrounded by police. Scary! A couple of years ago they were having lunch at that sandwich place next to bin41 and they came out to find police surrounded the bank on the corner there. No matter how frequent/infrequent, it’s scary to have had your loved ones so close to something that could go so wrong very quickly, ie hostage taking, gunfire.

    Comment by t — 12:37 pm May 17, 2014 #

  21. Trinity, please don’t tell me what I can and cannot say.

    Comment by Enough — 12:56 pm May 17, 2014 #

  22. It is just so surprising to me to hear of any bank robberies in our neighborhood — within the past day, or 2, 3, 4, 5 years, who cares — the fact that there are any in West Seattle seems weird to me given our area just feels a bit like a small “town” instead of part of a bustling city. It makes me sad and mad. Both our neighbors have had break-ins (one was broken into on 2 separate occasions when someone was home) and a car stolen out of a driveway — our cars have both been prowled. We live in a very nice spot of West Seattle. I think reading the blog and the other news just makes us even more aware of the frequency — good or bad — it goes on in lots of other areas and cities to a greater degree -but that doesn’t make it feel any better or acceptable.

    Comment by elaine — 1:11 pm May 17, 2014 #

  23. Spoke to White Center bank security guard who said in the 2 years he’s worked there there have been no robberies. He walks around the perimeter of the bank all day long letting his presence be known, while packing.

    Comment by wsres — 6:53 am May 20, 2014 #

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