Quite the catch: Man hooked bank deposit bags, Stanwood police say

Detectives suspect the man, of Blaine, used a hook, line and mouse trap sinker to steal from bank deposit boxes around Puget Sound.


BOTHELL — Fishing line, hooks and Tomcat Glue Board rodent traps. Those are the tools a Blaine man used to steal from over a dozen bank deposit boxes in Snohomish and Skagit counties, according to Stanwood police.

Detectives arrested the man suspected of moonlighting as a quasi-commercial fisherman, 27, and booked him into jail for investigation of 13 counts of second-degree burglary. Police had been investigating at least 25 similar cases.

On July 11, a police officer responded to reports of a theft at the Wells Fargo on 9916 270th St. NW, Stanwood. An employee reportedly told police she found a glue board attached to a fishhook inside the bank’s night deposit box, along with a thread of fishing line inside the box pull-lever. The trap was stuck to a deposit bag.

Wells Fargo banks in Everett, Lynnwood and Marysville reported almost identical thefts and attempted thefts to police. Other banks around north Puget Sound reported finding glue traps and fishing line in night deposit boxes, police wrote.

Banks’ security footage consistently showed the thief was a thin, white man with shoulder-length brown hair, according to police. Sometimes he wore red Converse Chuck Taylor-style shoes with a flame decal.

The glue trap would sometimes stick to bank deposit bags, police wrote, and the suspect would pull the bags up from the deposit box — trying to defeat the built-in security features. He was successful “on occasion,” a Stanwood detective wrote in his report.

Police found in the past seven months, more than two dozen local banks had reported thefts or attempted thefts through “fishing.”

The reports don’t note what pound test the thief selected for his line, nor its tint.

In at least seven incidents, police noted the would-be thief apparently used a red fishhook — a common choice among bass anglers.

Police used security footage to identify the suspect, who had been contacted by police multiple times in recent months and caught on body camera footage.

After a brief police dog chase, Snohomish County sheriff’s deputies arrested the suspect Friday near a tire shop in the 11800 block of Highway 99. He declined to speak with law enforcement.

On Monday afternoon, the man remained in custody at the Snohomish County Jail with bail set at $65,000.

The man is suspected for “fishing” at the following Snohomish County banks, police wrote:

• May 29, Heritage Bank, 1540 132nd St. SE, Mill Creek.

• June 8, Heritage Bank, 5616 Evergreen Way, Everett.

• June 8, Coastal Community Bank, 5415 Evergreen Way, Everett.

• June 10, Union Bank, 1020 State Ave, Marysville.

• June 12, Wells Fargo, 2801 Wetmore Ave., Everett.

• June 13, Wells Fargo, 12926 Mukilteo Speedway, Lynnwood.

• July 4, Chase Bank, 1344 State Ave., Marysville.

• July 5, U.S. Bank, 17110 Smokey Point Blvd., Arlington.

• July 11, Wells Fargo, 9916 270th St. NW, Stanwood.

Two hours later, police wrote, a thief tried to steal from a Heritage Bank on Urban Avenue in Mount Vernon, followed by three more Mount Vernon banks by the following night.

• Aug. 7, Heritage Bank, 1504 132nd St. SE, Mill Creek.

• Aug. 9, Union Bank, 16412 9th Ave. SE, Mill Creek.

• Aug. 17, Coastal Community Bank, 5415 Evergreen Way, Everett.

• Aug. 17, Heritage Bank, 5615 Evergreen Way, Everett.

Ellen Dennis: 425-339-3486; ellen.dennis@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @reporterellen.

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