Drops of blood left behind during a Puyallup bank robbery in January helped solve that heist and another one nearly three months earlier, officials said Wednesday.
Pierce County prosecutors charged Omaha Tony Tufono, 47, with the bank robbery after his DNA matched the blood left at the Puyallup bank during the Jan. 15 robbery.
Tufono, who had been jailed in King County in connection with a different bank robbery, was arraigned Wednesday on the Pierce County charges.
He was ordered held in jail in lieu of $100,000 bail.
Prosecutors say Tufono robbed the Sound Community Bank at 2941 S. 38th St. in Tacoma on Oct. 29 and the U.S. Bank at 222 39th Ave. S.W. in Puyallup on Jan. 15. In both heists, the robber got cash but didn’t imply or show a weapon, police said.
During the Puyallup robbery, the bandit became impatient, jumped on the counter and began reaching into the register, charging documents state. The teller noticed the robber’s left hand was bleeding and droplets were left inside the bank.
Forensics technicians collected swabs of the blood, and samples were submitted to the Washington State Patrol crime lab. In May, the lab told police the blood matched Tufono’s DNA, which had been taken after his arrest in King County, court documents state.
Witnesses from the Tacoma and Puyallup bank robberies later reviewed photo montages and identified Tufono as the bank robber.
He had been jailed in King County in connection with the robbery Jan. 28 of the U.S. Bank at 1436 S. 312th St. in Federal Way. Federal Way police arrested Tufono after they stopped his vehicle and noticed he was covered in red dye from a pack that had exploded after the holdup.
Tufono told Federal Way investigators he robbed the bank to pay for his heroin addiction. He was convicted of theft and sentenced to 12 months in jail. He was released Tuesday and then booked into the Pierce County Jail.