Tracking device leads police to bank robbery suspect

The man walked into a Wells Fargo around 3:15 Tuesday and told the teller he had a bomb.

MARTHA LAKE — A bank robber told a teller he had a bomb and nearly made a clean getaway, but he was foiled by a tracking device in the bag of money, according to the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office.

The man walked into a Wells Fargo on 164th Street SW near Martha Lake around 3:15 p.m. Tuesday and flashed a device that had wires and buttons, said Shari Ireton, a spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office.

He said he had a bomb. He appeared to be a close match for the same suspect from a bank robbery earlier this month in Lynnwood, from Jan. 3.

The teller gave him a bag of cash with a tracking device inside, Ireton said. Minutes later deputies followed the device about a mile down the street to 164th and Meridian Avenue S. Deputies stopped car after car in that area, in search of the robber. Eventually they found a car with the bank bag inside, according to the sheriff’s office.

Two people in the car were taken into custody. The robbery suspect told deputies the “bomb” device had been fake, and that he’d thrown it out a window. Bomb-sniffing dogs searched the neighborhood into the evening.

Officials initially said they believed the suspect might be connected to two other bank robberies in the past week in Lynnwood. However, they later said they think he might be linked to a separate holdup.

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