We have full details now on the arrest of two men in connection with the theft of the West Seattle Junction US Bank’s drive-up ATM early Sunday.
After we reported the theft on Sunday, a commenter from Lake City mentioned the arrest of two men and recovery of a vehicle – but we didn’t have the official information connecting it all until just now.
Bail was set at $200,000 for a 28-year-old Shoreline man and $75,000 for a 35-year-old Sammamish man.
Probable-cause documents say the theft happened just after 5 am, when a citizen called 911 to say a nearby building shook and that they saw a forklift being used to steal the ATM from the bank on SW Edmunds.
It was reported as stolen from a “nearby hardware store” – reportedly Junction TrueValue, a block away. We photographed it after a reader tip about police activity turned out to be the impounding of the forklift post-theft:
The police report says that video shows three people stealing the forklift by using wire cutters to get into a secure area at the store. The ATM was torn away from its spot in the drive-thru and loaded into “a stolen cargo van,” police say.
Just after 1:30 pm, the stolen van was spotted in Issaquah by state troopers. As our commenter wrote, a significant pursuit followed – with the van going the wrong way on one-way streets along the way – and eventually it was located in Lake City, with the ATM still inside. The suspects tried to run, “stripping off clothing” as they bolted, according to the report, but officers eventually caught them. Here’s the photo the commenter says shows the stolen van:
The probable-cause documents say the two suspects both confessed to at least some parts of what happened, including stealing the ATM. The 28-year-old man is reported to have told police that this was the 8th time he has stolen an ATM, and the report describes him as “an extremely active ATM thief”; the 35-year-old man claimed it was his first, and, the report says, “seemed proud he didn’t hit any other vehicles during the pursuit.” Both are reported to have confessed to trying to get into the ATM safe with a saw – but being unable to.
Both are due back in court on Wednesday afternoon. The third suspect shown stealing the forklift is apparently still on the loose.