Suspect in Snohomish bank robbery surrenders

  • Wed Oct 17th, 2012 3:20pm
  • News

By Rikki King Herald Writer

SNOHOMISH — The 19-year-old suspect in a bank robbery in Snohomish in January turned himself in to police Tuesday.

Richard B. Dennler, of Snohomish, was arrested and booked for investigation of first-degree robbery.

Dennler already had submitted a DNA sample in August under a court order, and likely knew he was a suspect, according to a probable cause affidavit filed Tuesday.

Police reportedly found his genetic material on a baseball cap worn by the robber and recovered near the scene.

One of Dennler’s relatives reportedly told police that he was unemployed and needed money to pay court fines in a drunken-driving case in King County.

The robbery happened Jan. 20 at the Union Bank at 818 Avenue D.

A man entered the bank wearing a hoodie-style sweatshirt, gloves and sunglasses. He also donned a dark baseball cap with unique, wrap-around ear flaps.

The man demanded money and ran away with the cash. No weapon was shown.

A police dog search immediately after the robbery led investigators to a hat lying on the ground near an apartment complex about a block from the bank, court papers show.

The hat was mostly dry, despite snowy, rainy conditions.

Tellers at the bank recognized the hat, and it also appeared to match the robbery getup shown in the surveillance video, according to court papers.

Trace evidence from the hat was sent to the Washington State Patrol crime lab, but no match was found in the DNA database.

Meanwhile, police circulated pictures of the suspect in hopes of generating tips.

More than 15 people called, including two who gave Dennler’s name, police said.

Dennler not only looked like the suspect, he lived less than a half-mile from the bank.

Detectives then served a search warrant to obtain a sample of his DNA. The sample compared to that found on the hat was an exact match with odds of “one in 27 quintillion,” according to police.

Dennler has no felony history in Washington.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com