Tips help identify bank robbery suspect, accomplice

Oak Harbor police identified a suspect and an accomplice in an April 30 bank robbery, but they aren’t naming the men yet.

Chief Kevin Dresker said the police received many tips after the story appeared online in the Whidbey News-Times and other places. The tips led to the accomplice, who confessed to his part in the crime.

According to the police, the suspect forced his way into Washington Federal on Southwest Barlow Street as an employee was arriving at about 8:30 a.m. The man in a black ski mask brandished what appeared to be a firearm and forced the employee to give him cash.

Dresker said Detective Jon Valenzuela happened to be in the area to investigate a report of people smoking pot in a car. Investigators believe a lookout called the suspect while he was in the bank and warned him about a police officer being nearby, at which point the suspect fled.

Valenzuela heard screaming and gave chase after seeing the man run from the bank. The suspected bank robber stumbled and dropped some of the case; his ski mask was later located.

Two other officers joined the pursuit, but the man had a lead on them and was able to get away in an area of thick brush. Officers set up containment in the area, but the man likely escaped before it was complete, Dresker said.

The police searched the area for hours, with the help of law enforcement from the Island County Sheriff’s Office, Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the State Patrol.

The sheriff’s office used a drone to search blackberry bushes.

Dresker said the suspect was picked up by a friend north of Oak Harbor and driven off the island, heading south on Interstate 5. The police are working with agencies from off the island to track down the suspect.

The police have not released the amount of cash that was stolen.

More in News

State AG talks Navy Growlers, opioids during EDC meeting

The state’s top lawyer said Tuesday he and his team are “very… Continue reading

Bookkeeper guilty of stealing $250k

A former bookkeeper accused of stealing more than $250,000 from a Langley… Continue reading

As new CEO, Ron Telles vows to regain public trust in WhidbeyHealth

Board awards one-year contract, $330,000 annual salary with no bonuses

Whale dumped on beach raises smelly questions

When the massive carcass of a gray whale washes up on Puget… Continue reading

Oak Harbor woman sues over being strip searched

A proposed class action alleges the Fairfax mental-health hospital may have violated patient rights

Woman accused in stabbing

An Oak Harbor woman is being held in jail on $65,000 bail… Continue reading

NAS Whidbey SAR rescues skier on Baker

A Search and Rescue team from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island rescued… Continue reading

NAS Whidbey will host annual Open House, 5K Run on June 22

Naval Air Station Whidbey Island will host its annual open house for… Continue reading

Support group facilitators needed in Oak Harbor

The Alzheimer’s Association is seeking volunteers to facilitate Family Caregiver Support Groups… Continue reading

Most Read