Bail $10 million in Tacoma robbery, bomb scare

Tacoma - Pierce County prosecutors have charged a 39-year-old man in connection with Thursday’s bank robbery and bomb scare in downtown Tacoma.

Investigators are still trying to identify the man, who has not given authorities his real name.

Prosecutors on Friday charged the man, identified in court documents as “John J. Doe,” with first-degree robbery, three counts of first-degree assault and threatening to bomb or injure property.

He is being held in lieu of $10 million bail. In addition, the FBI has placed a hold on his release.

Charging documents indicate the man is a suspect in several recent bank robberies carried out in a similar style along the West Coast.

The man was charged in the robbery of a Bank of America branch, 101 S. Ninth St., about 3:15 p.m. Thursday.

The robber showed a bank employee a box he said was a bomb, court documents state. The employee saw what appeared to be an explosive device and met the robber’s demand that the employee fill a sack with money.

Meanwhile, several people inside the bank called 911 to report the robbery. Police saw the robber leave the building and arrested him across the street from the bank.

They found the bank’s cash and a loaded handgun stuffed in the robber’s waistband, court documents state.

Officers found a car believed associated with the robber. They saw stacks of cash and at least two loaded guns – including an assault-style rifle – inside the car, court documents state.

“Doe also was in possession of what appeared to be a radio device, giving the appearance that Doe might be able to detonate the explosive remotely,” charging documents state.

Several downtown streets were cordoned off and the bomb squad was called in. Officers inspected the device and determined it wasn’t dangerous.

Charging documents indicate the robber disguised his appearance by wearing eyeglasses, a ball cap and fake facial hair. He’d also coated his fingertips in super glue.

Stacey Mulick: 253-597-8268