NE Tacoma man charged in Federal Way bank robbery

The suspect passed a note to the teller stating he had a gun and would begin to shoot if he did not receive the money.

A NE Tacoma man has been charged after allegedly stealing more than $12,000 and threatening to start shooting inside a Federal Way bank on Dec. 12.

The suspect identified as Antjuan Banks, 30, was charged with first-degree robbery by the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office on Jan. 8. Banks is being held in custody in lieu of $50,000 bail and his arraignment is scheduled for Jan. 21 at the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent.

The prosecuting attorney’s office said Banks’ bail amount was warranted due to his previous violent offense convictions, in which he allegedly threatened to use a gun in the Dec. 12 incident and another bank robbery, and “was on community custody warrant status at the time of this offense for a nearly identical violent crime,” according to charging documents.

In the Dec. 12 incident, Banks passed a note to the Chase Bank teller demanding money and stating he had a gun. The teller believed Banks had a gun, but it is unknown because Banks fled the scene after receiving the money.

Banks is on community custody after robbing two other Federal Way banks — another Chase Bank branch and a Key Bank — in nearly identical fashions. In the both previous bank robberies, Banks passed notes to the tellers demanding cash, stating he had a gun and threatening to “start shooting” if he did not receive the money.

Banks pleaded guilty to both previous robberies under one single count, and in Nov. 2018, Banks was given an exceptional sentence below the standard range of 24 months on a 46-61-month standard range, documents state. This exception was decided by a judge.

His prior criminal history includes felony convictions for first-degree robbery; second-degree burglary in 2014 and 2015; residential burglary in 2010; and misdemeanor convictions including fourth-degree assault in 2013; vehicle prowling twice in 2012 and again in 2017; third-degree theft in 2009, thrice in 2013, twice in 2014, five times in 2015, and again in 2017; and criminal trespassing in 2014.

According to the charging documents:

At about 12:30 p.m. Dec. 12, Federal Way officers were dispatched to a bank robbery at the Chase Bank located at 32000 Pacific Highway South. A bank employee called 911 to report a man has presented a note to the teller advising he had a gun and robbed the bank.

Security footage from the bank shows the suspect enter the facility and go to a self-service kiosk in the lobby to grab a deposit slip. Footage shows the suspect waiting in line for about three minutes before going to the eastern most window at the bank.

That window’s teller told police the suspect, now identified as Banks, handed him a deposit slip, which the suspect had written “I have a gun, give me all the money, I don’t want to harm anyone.” The teller noted the suspect had two different color eyes.

The teller handed “several bundles of currency” to Banks from his drawer and later told police he estimated Banks received about $10,000 in bills of $100, $50 and $20. Banks allegedly attempted to hide the money in his jacket pocket, but instead walked out of the bank with the money hidden by his side.

The teller said Banks did not show a weapon, but said he did have his hands in his pockets as if he was a holding a gun. A nearby coworker corroborated the teller’s account of the incident, telling police she saw the suspect “grabbing cash and then rushing out the door.”

A Chase Bank security associate later told police Banks had fled with $12,179 in cash.

At about 6:55 p.m. Dec. 15, the same Federal Way officer who interviewed victims of the bank robbery was providing security off-duty at the Fred Meyer store at 33702 21st Ave. SW in Federal Way when he was alerted to an attempted shoplifter. An employee pointed out the suspect and the officer detained the man, who would later be identified as Banks and also had two different colored eyes.

The officer confirmed Banks had an outstanding Washington Department of Corrections warrant for escaping community custody and when searching Banks prior to transporting him to jail, the officer found a white plastic bag wrapped around a brown paper bag with Banks. Inside the bag was “a large amount of cash mostly in denominations of $100s, $50s and $20s.” The total amount in the bag was $16,589.

A search of Banks car revealed, among other items, three receipts for clothing and jewelry purchases for about $3,892 made the day after the robbery.