King County prosecutors recently charged a Federal Way man with robbing a Seattle bank of $77,000 in December.
Seattle police arrested Home Street Bank employee Dararath Mok, 35, on Dec. 29, 2014 after they discovered he entered the bank through an unlocked door, used his personal code to disarm the bank’s alarm system, taped up the cameras and stole thousands of dollars from a vault on Dec. 25, 2014, according to court documents.
Mok had closed up the bank with a coworker the night before and was there when the bank was opened for business on Dec. 26, 2014, the day after Christmas.
Mok and a coworker realized the bank had been burglarized and called police. Mok told police his bank alarm code was different than it was as he provided his statement. Police checked the building and noted the suspect ripped open envelopes in the vault area to gain access to the codes to open the vault — something only employees at the bank would know.
After obtaining video surveillance, they discovered a suspect crouching down outside of the west side sliding doors, open an unlocked door, get down on his hands and knees and start crawling to the rear of the bank where the vault is kept, the documents continue.
After he crawled to the vault room, he disabled the alarm with a specific code and then destroyed the alarm panel.
“Knowledge of an appropriate code to disarm the alarm is not known to the general public, but it is information that would be known to certain bank employees,” charging documents state.
But one day later, a bank branch manager told police each individual bank employee has their own code and the code used was Mok’s.
Police waited for Mok outside of Home Street Bank on the morning of Dec. 29, 2014 and arrested him when he arrived. Although he was informed of his Miranda Rights, he confessed to the burglary in an audio recording.
He told police he stole the money by himself because he had some family medical issues and was very concerned about being unable to pay for them.
After the robbery, he returned to his Federal Way home and found a garbage dumpster in an apartment complex to dump his backpack and clothing in. Mok then allegedly put the money in a plastic bag and into a box from his garage and stored it in his bedroom closet. Although he did not count the money, he knew there was about $70,000 in the vault and he gambled between $8,000 to $9,000 at a casino, according to charging documents.
Mok and the family members he lived with consented to a police search of the house where officers would later find the box of money.
“The suspect was extremely cooperative and remorseful about his actions with detectives,” the documents continue. “He stated that he felt like he had financial difficulties in his life that were overwhelming him. He cried several times and apologized for his actions.”
Police recovered approximately $44,494 of the $77,994 that was stolen.
Although police recommended Mok be charged with second-degree burglary, he is now facing first-degree theft.
Mok has no prior convictions or criminal history.