Prolific Seattle-area smash-and-grab ATM thieves formerly arrested for murder

May 13, 2022, 12:33 PM | Updated: 5:21 pm


(Tiffany Von Arnim/Flickr Creative Commons)

(Tiffany Von Arnim/Flickr Creative Commons)

60 robberies involving trucks driving into local stores to steal ATMs and cash registers may be solved with the arrest of two men at a Tukwila motel Friday morning.

Seattle and Bellevue police made the arrest, according to an SPD spokesperson.

The details of the investigation leading up to the arrests of Stanley Lee and Branden Cerna are unknown, although plenty of surveillance video exists showing two men crashing through windows and making quick work of robbing a store or pulling open an ATM and taking off with cash.

In 2019, Lee was held on $2 million bail in connection with a homicide investigation. The investigation was never sent to prosecutors for charges, according to King County Prosecuting Attorney spokesperson Casey McNerthney. Lee is a convicted felon, with a record for unlawful possession of a firearm.

Cerna was also held on bail for a similar investigation, for which charges were never filed. King County did not decline to prosecute, and KIRO Newsradio was referred to the Seattle Police Department for information on the details of why the pair were not ultimately charged. Cerna was convicted of reckless endangerment in 2018.

The two arrested Friday had some stolen vehicles with them, so the list of charges they are facing includes possession of a stolen vehicle, in addition to burglary, theft, and malicious mischief.

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Prolific Seattle-area smash-and-grab ATM thieves formerly arrested for murder