In recent months Washington law enforcement officers and FBI agents have investigated multiple bank robberies. One of the suspected robbers was arrested after he was shot by a credit union customer. The other, a serial bank robber, remained at large as of early July.
A 44-year-old man was arrested at a hotel in early July, suspected of attempting to rob the Spokane Teachers Credit Union in Spokane Valley. Before being taken to jail, the man was treated at a local hospital for injuries to his right arm and hip. During the attempted robbery, the suspect was shot by a credit union customer.
Law enforcement officials also are seeking a serial bank robber dubbed the “Thug in a Rug Bandit” because he has worn a wig during at least four Seattle bank robberies committed between February and June.
More than 4,000 banks, credit unions, savings and loans and other financial institutions nationwide were robbed in 2015, according to Federal Bureau of Investigation statistics. Most of the robberies were committed by men and occurred more often between 9 and 11 a.m. on Fridays than any other time and day.
The FBI was able to identify 57 percent of the bank robbers in 2015. Of those, 38 percent were found to be narcotics drug users and 20 percent had been previously convicted of stealing from financial institutions.
“The FBI has had a primary role in bank robbery investigations since the 1930s, when John Dillinger and his gang were robbing banks and capturing the public's imagination. In 1934, it became a federal crime to rob any national bank or state member bank of the Federal Reserve System. The law soon expanded to include bank burglary, larceny, and similar crimes, with jurisdiction delegated to the FBI. Today, the Bureau works with local law enforcement in bank robbery investigations, but its focus is mainly on violent or serial cases.”
Per the federal criminal bank robbery statute, a person convicted of robbing a bank can be sentenced to up to 25 years in prison or a fine or both. If a person is killed during the commission of a bank robbery, the death penalty can be imposed.
Under the federal statute, even stealing property from a bank can net prison time and a fine. If the property stolen is valued at $100 or less, the guilty party can be sentenced to up to a year in jail. If the value is more than $100, the person can be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison.
No matter the crime or the circumstances, every defendant has a right to representation by a qualified attorney. If you have been arrested and face criminal charges, call the Seattle law office of Steve Karimi at (206) 621-8777 or contact him online.