News

Holiday greetings: This is a stickup

By ERICA HALL

The Mirror

Two Federal Way grocery store bank branches were robbed on two consecutive Thursdays this month, but the robberies don't appear to be related.

The Alaska USA federal credit union in the Safeway on South 320th Street was robbed Dec. 16, just before 2 p.m. Witnesses described the robber as a black male, 25 to 30 years old, 5 feet 9 inches tall with a thin build, wearing a black ski coat and a Kangol hat. No weapon was seen and he did not imply he had a weapon, according to police.

Witnesses lost track of him as he left the bank and weren't sure if he got away in a car or on foot once he got to the parking lot. He was still at large Monday, said FBI spokeswoman Melissa Schuler. Agents believe he might be connected to other bank robberies in the area.

About 11:30 a.m. last Thursday, a different man robbed the U.S. Bank in the Albertson's store at Southwest 336th Street and 21st Avenue Southwest. Witnesses described him as white, in his 40s, 5 feet 3 inches tall and weighing 150 to 160 pounds. He had a weathered face and wore a white baseball cap, a cream-colored nylon jacket, jeans and white shoes. He wore dark glasses and used a cane, and had distinctive side burns to his jaw line, Schuler said. His hair was gray and wavy.

Federal Way Police called in the bomb disposal unit after the robber indicated to bank employees there was a bomb in a bag he left behind, police commander Stan McCall said.

"It was designed to look like some kind of device, but there were no explosives in it," McCall said. "Employees had looked in the bag and saw something was there."

Officers evacuated the bank and the grocery store, and the bomb squad went in to evaluate the package and dismantle the device.

The robber didn't indicate he had any other kind of weapon, Schuler said. He left in a vehicle, though the make and model were unavailable.

Staff writer Erica Hall: 925-5565, ehall@fedwaymirror.com

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