STANWOOD — A robber carrying what he claimed was an explosive device robbed Pacific Northwest Bank Wednesday, but was captured about 20 minutes later by an alert Snohomish County sheriff’s deputy, authorities said.
The robbery occurred at about 12:45 p.m. in the 9900 block of 270th Street NW.
A lone man entered the bank, approached a teller, demanded money and displayed what appeared to be an explosive device, FBI spokesman Ray Lauer said. The man then fled with an undisclosed amount of money in what witnesses described as a 1960s-era Ford or Mercury.
"The bank personnel were able to give us a very accurate description of him and the vehicle," Snohomish County sheriff’s spokeswoman Jan Jorgensen said.
At 1:06 p.m., a North Precinct deputy spotted the vehicle just north of the 300th Street exit on I-5, Jorgensen said. The deputy arrested the suspect without incident. Two lanes of the freeway were closed until the sheriff’s bomb squad arrived and deactivated the explosive, she said.
The suspected robber was turned over to the FBI on investigation of bank robbery.
"He doesn’t seem to remember who he is, so we’re still trying to identify him," Lauer said.
Authorities are investigating to determine whether the explosive could have detonated, Lauer said.
"Most bank robbers are not going to want to hurt somebody unless confronted," he said. "The tellers and witnesses in this bank robbery acted exactly right."