Spree of Ballard bank heists land alleged serial thief with 3 felony charges

Aug 30, 2022, 8:03 AM
(King County Prosecutor's Office)
(King County Prosecutor's Office)

King County prosecutors have charged a Seattle man with three felony counts of robbery in the first degree.

Prosecutors allege that Bruce Baker stole thousands of dollars from at least three banks in Ballard.

Seattle Police arrested Baker last week. The alleged heists occurred over a several-day span in the middle of August.

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Aug. 10, prosecutors say Baker slipped Bank of America tellers a note that read, “No dye packs. This is real. Money in the bag, quickly. I’m strapped.”

The teller placed nearly $4,000 in mixed bills in a plastic bag, handing it to the suspect, who fled the area.

A day later, the suspect wrote Wells Fargo tellers a similar message: “This is a robbery. Don’t [expletive] with me. I am armed.”

Tellers handed the suspect just over $500 in cash in a package that contained a GPS tracker, later found discarded in a nearby trash can.

Detectives reviewing the security footage of the bank robbery matched the suspect’s distinctive rainbow-colored mask to footage from Baker’s check-in with the King County Sex Offender registration office – Baker was convicted of child molestation in 2003.

Prosecutors allege that Baker also stole roughly $7,000 from a different Wells Fargo in Seattle on Aug. 23.

Detectives matched Baker’s vehicle to security footage of the same car and arrested the suspect on Aug. 24.

Upon arrest and interview with detectives, prosecutors allege that Baker spontaneously told police, “I’m not a bad person. I did do it. I didn’t want to continue it. I just wanted to stop it right away. I don’t know why. I’m not happy about my choices, and I don’t know what to do.”

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Spree of Ballard bank heists land alleged serial thief with 3 felony charges