UPDATE: A 32-year-old former employee of the Grocery Outlet on Harrison Avenue is accused of robbing the South Sound Bank On Harrison on Tuesday afternoon, located in the same strip mall where he used to work, court papers state.
Michael Easterday, of Milroy Street in Olympia, was arrested Tuesday afternoon. He was being held at the Thurston County Jail Wednesday on suspicion of first-degree robbery, with bail set at $50,000.
Olympia police used a tracking device with a global positioning system that had been sandwiched between the currency the teller gave the bank robbery suspect to locate Easterday at his Milroy Street home after the robbery, court papers state.
According to court papers:
Police were dispatched to the South Sound Bank about 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, after an alarm there was activated. The teller reported to police that a man approached her in the bank with a paper bag and ordered her to put money in it. The man kept his right hand in his jacket pocket, and was holding an object there so that it appeared to be a gun, the teller said.
The teller activated the alarm after the man fled on foot.
Emergency dispatchers advised police over the radio that the alarm company hired by the bank had reported that the GPS tracker had moved, then stopped moving, at a residence on Milroy Street. Police responded to the residence and watched a man exit the residence, get in a vehicle and drive off.
Emergency dispatchers then reported to police that the GPS tracking device was in the area of the Abalon Pointe Apartments on Black Lake Road in Olympia, just a few blocks from Milroy Street. A few minutes later, police on Milroy Street saw the same vehicle return to the residence. A man exited the vehicle and went inside.
Dispatchers then reported the GPS tracker was stationary in the area of the Abalon Pointe Apartments. Police later found the tracker in a dumpster there. Police officers surrounded the Milroy Street residence, and one officer called out while standing in front of the residence - Easterday exited the residence and was placed under arrest.
Easterday admitted that he robbed the South Sound Bank. He said he did not have a weapon, but had attached a nail to a socket, and placed it in his jacket pocket, so it would look like a gun.
Police obtained a search warrant for Easterdays residence, and inside, found a stack of $20 bills that had previously contained the tracking device.
Easterday does not have an extensive criminal record - a driving under the influence citation from Olympia in 2011, and an arrest on suspicion of third-degree assault in 2004. Easterday and his estranged wife have one child in common, according to his pretrial services report.
A manager of the Grocery Outlet confirmed that Easterday had been employed there, but he was terminated after his arrest Tuesday.
Jeremy Pawloski: 360-754-5445 firstname.lastname@example.org