Soldier charged in Tacoma bank heists
A 26-year-old Army staff sergeant who was scheduled to deploy to Iraq in April has been charged with robbing the same Tacoma bank twice this month, according to a report in Sunday’s Seattle Times.
The Times cites Tacoma police as saying that Christopher B. Thompson, who is stationed at Fort Lewis, was arrested at his South Tacoma apartment Thursday night after witnesses and bank-surveillance video helped police identify him.
Detectives found money, a gun and clothes that matched the items used in robberies of a KeyBank branch March 5 and Thursday, Tacoma police detective Gretchen Ellis told the paper.
FBI Special Agent Larry Carr told the Times that Thompson is not connected to several Army Rangers, also based at Fort Lewis, who robbed a South Tacoma bank last year.
“From the current investigation, it does appear he was working alone,” Carr said.
Thompson was arraigned Friday in Pierce County Superior Court on two counts of first-degree robbery, the Times wrote.
He was a member of the 38th Engineer Company, 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, based at Fort Lewis and was scheduled to deploy next month, Joe Hitt, a base spokesman, told the paper.
Four Army Rangers based at Fort Lewis have been charged in connection with the Aug. 7 robbery at the Bank of America branch on South Tacoma Way. Three have pleaded guilty and the fourth — alleged robbery mastermind Luke Sommer of Peachland, B.C. — is fighting extradition to the United States, the Times reported.