Everett man pleads guilty to break-in, theft of cash machine

EVERETT — An Everett man on Tuesday admitted he was part of a heavy-lifting heist at a Marysville strip mall last year.

Michael Checkeye Jr. pleaded guilty to second-degree burglary for the Nov. 21 break-in at CLC Auto Licensing. Prosecutors accused Checkeye and two others, including a man once dubbed a “drywall bandit,” of punching a hole in the wall of the business to get access to an ATM.

Once inside, Checkeye, 23, and Tyler Bam Bowman allegedly unbolted the cash machine from the floor and carried the bulky ATM out the back door to a waiting van.

Marysville police responded to the business within a few minutes of the alarm sounding. Officers found tools inside, including a pry bar and power grinder. They also found cigarette butts and a dark-colored hat.

That evidence was sent to the state crime lab for forensic testing. The DNA on the hat matches that of Bowman, court papers said. Genetic evidence on a cigarette butt is a match for Checkeye, King wrote.

The cash machine was discovered abandoned under a tarp in an Everett park. A witness provided police with the license plate of a van he saw backed up at the park the day of the heist.

The witness followed the van as it drove to Bowman’s house, King wrote. Police talked to the van’s owner who reported that she’d lent the van to Taylor Jewett.

Checkeye on Tuesday also pleaded guilty to breaking into a home in April and being in possession of a stolen car. He is scheduled to be sentenced in October. Jewett also is expected to be sentenced in October for her part in the November heist.

Bowman’s trial is set for next month. He’s charged with an additional break-in two days earlier at Romio’s Pizza in Edmonds.

Bowman beat a burglary rap last year. He, his father and another man were accused of breaking through the wall of a Lake Stevens market and hauling out a safe in 2009.

Bowman’s dad, Byron Bowman was sentenced to 10 years in prison after he admitted that he committed about 50 similar break-ins between 2008 and 2009. Witnesses told cops that the convicted burglar admitted he’d made a career out of stealing. An accomplice, James Densmore was sentenced to 10 years for breaking into Jay’s Market in Lake Stevens with Byron Bowman.

Prosecutors dropped the charge against the younger Bowman in June 2010 after they interviewed one of their primary witnesses and determined there wasn’t enough evidence to prove to a jury his involvement in the crime.

Detectives believe Bowman committed the November break-ins while waiting to be sentenced for a 2008 car theft.

Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; hefley@heraldnet.com.

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