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Sirens & Gavels

Posts tagged: Sterling Savings Bank

Reward for tips on armed bank robber

Detectives are hoping for fresh clues in an armed bank robbery Dec. 2 in Spokane Valley.

A gunman demanded cash from two tellers at Sterling Savings Bank, 11205 E. Sprague Ave., about 2:25 p,.m. after walking into the bank with his gun already displayed, according to the Spokane Valley Police Department.

“The robber was so low-key and calm, several customers inside the bank at the time were not aware it was being robbed,” according to a news release.

Tellers stuffed cash into blue cloths bags with a clinch drawstring at the top, and the robber placed the blue bags into a similar green bag and walked out the east doors of the bank. He was last seen walking eastbound.

  He is described as a white man, 25 to 30 years old, 5-foot-6 and 130 pounds.

He wore a dark jacket, blue jeans, a knit cap, a scarf covering his lower face and dark glasses over his eye.

Police found the glasses, scarf and cap but have not identified a suspect. Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for tips that lead to an arrest.

SPD nabs Tri-Cities bank heist suspect

Patrol officers arrested a suspected bank robber Monday night after detectives in the Tri-Cities tracked him to northwest Spokane.

John T. Walker, 22, was arrested as he fled from a home at 2733 W. Wellesley Ave., about 9:45 p.m., according to a search warrant filed today.

Police believe Walker robbed a Sterling Savings Bank in Kennewick of about $1,800 Monday afternoon, then paid two friends to drive him to Spokane.

A state probation officer recognized Walker from surveillance photos and notified detectives, who learned from the suspect's roommate that he was headed to Spokane.

Detectives tracked pings from Walker's cellphone to the area of the Walmart at 2301 W. Wellesley Ave. They also used vehicle records to connect Walker's friends to a 1991 Honda Accord, which Spokane police officers spotted outside the home where Walker soon fled, according to the search warrant.

The warrant was used to search the home and the Accord and seize cash, a cell phone and a bag of marijuana.

Walker was arrested on a Department of Corrections warrant and appeared in Spokane County Superior Court today on a drug charge. Walker's friends told police that he'd claimed to have recently inherited money and “just wanted to come to Spokane to have some fun,” according to the warrant. Neither has been arrested.

Bank robbery suspect: Voices made me do it

A man accused of robbing a downtown Spokane bank told police voices in his head told him to commit the crime, according to court documents prepared by detectives.

It’s not the first time David D. Thometz, 47, has blamed crimes on the voices. He was sentenced to a year in jail after burning down his Spokane Valley home in May 2008 and telling investigators a voice in his head named Jack told him to do it, according to court records.

Thometz remains in jail on $50,000 bond after a security officer at Sterling Savings Bank, 11 N. Wall St., detained him until police arrived Tuesday. Thometz was trying to leave with stolen cash after he handed a teller a threatening note about 9:20 a.m., police said.

Police recovered the stolen money and say Thometz had an additional $400 in his wallet. Thometz also had a knife in his pocket but did not display or mention it during the robbery, police said.

Thometz told police “the voices in his head had been telling him to rob a bank and he had been dreaming of committing the robbery for three weeks,” according to court documents.

After Spokane police Detective Tim Madsen read Thometz his rights, Thometz said he understand then said, “What the hell, go for it,” according to the documents. “Thometz stated he wanted to talk to Det. Madsen and he realized an attorney would tell him not to. Thometz stated that he had been through this before when he was arrested for arson.”

Thometz then asked for a lawyer after the audio recording began and the interview ended.

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