Teen says he robbed bank to help family

A Marysville teenager allegedly told police he robbed a bank Wednesday because he wanted to help his mother pay bills and to buy his sister a birthday present.

Erik D. Nelson, 17, was charged Monday with first-degree robbery. Prosecutors say he was wearing a Halloween mask and carrying a pellet gun during the holdup at a Wells Fargo branch.

The teen was charged as an adult because of the seriousness of the crime.

Marysville police said the boy entered the bank in the 10000 block of Shoultes Road about 10 a.m., deputy prosecutor John Stansell wrote in a Snohomish County Superior Court affidavit.

The robber wore a mask of Jigsaw, the main character from the “Saw” horror movies, and carried a handgun. He ordered everyone to get on the floor and demanded money from a teller, Stansell said.

The robber told one bank employee, “You have two seconds to give me the money or I will blow your head off,” documents said.

More than $4,000 was put into a duffle bag while the gunman pointed the pistol at bank employees, Stansell said. The robber was seen riding away from the bank on a bicycle.

A bank customer saw someone load a bicycle into a sport utility vehicle, which was traced to Nelson’s home.

Police converged on the house. Nelson surrendered as a police SWAT team was preparing to burst into the home, in the 10600 block of 52nd Avenue NE, police said.

Two nearby schools were put on emergency lockdown for five hours as a precaution.

Nelson told investigators he chose the Wells Fargo branch because it was close to his home, documents said.

“The defendant told police that he entered the bank wearing a mask and holding a pellet gun,” Stansell said. He also told police that he went home and hid the money near a tree in his yard.

When investigators searched the home they found a mask, a pellet gun and $4,418 in cash.

That’s $1 more than the bank reported as stolen, Stansell said.

Nelson is being held on $75,000 bail at the Denney Juvenile Justice Center. He was expected to appear in court today.

Reporter Jim Haley: 425-339-3447 or jhaley@heraldnet.com.

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