WALLY'S WORLD: Folks moving Enumclaw’s way, even bad ones

So, I went bouncing up the steps to KeyBank, clutching a certificate of deposit interest check tightly in my grimy, little fist, intending to cash it to secure a few nickels and hoping to greet Cherri, Rosita and all those charming tellers. But guess what? The place was closed and turned into a crime scene!

Well, gee, you don’t expect a bank robbery in downtown Enumclaw.

It seemed like a worthwhile subject for this depraved column. So I called Lt. Eric Sortland of the Enumclaw Police Department and found he was only too happy to answer most of my questions.

It was shortly after the bank had opened. A rather scruffy-looking fellow approached one of the cashiers and handed her a note, demanding all the paper cash in her till. Understandably, she promptly lapsed into a state of shock, then gathered her wits enough to follow the robber’s instructions. No gun was ever seen and, thankfully, no one was injured. After the criminal had left the building, a bank official called the police and they arrived in less than two minutes. However, by that time the bad guy (or guys) had already gotten away. After leaving the bank, it only took a few seconds to jump in a car and flee the scene.

Lt. Sortland wouldn’t reveal how much money was stolen. An on-going investigation is being conducted by local police agencies and the FBI.

I wonder what would have happened if the teller had read the crook’s note, laughed, and told him to go to hell? Would he have really pulled a gun and started shooting people? Or would he simply have run away? Of course, bank personnel aren’t about to test any given robber to find out.

I can vaguely recall another Enumclaw bank robbery perhaps 10 years ago, but that hasn’t been the only one. Sortland said it’s happened three or four times in the 20 years he’s worked here.

Though I surely don’t intend to assign any heroic stature to the crook, it must take a certain degree of courage and/or desperation to rob a bank, thereby gambling your freedom against several years in a federal slammer. This time the robber was lucky because a police officer wasn’t cruising the streets close to the scene.

If you possess any lingering doubts that our community is no longer an isolated town but, instead, is an intricate part of Greater Seattle’s urban sprawl, let this incident lay your doubts to rest. If bank robberies don’t confirm our suburban nature, nothing will.

Though the statistics can be rather difficult to decipher, in the last 10 years the number of Seattle bank robberies seems to have decreased, while they’ve increased in the suburbs. That may be due, in part, to the fact that the city’s population is decreasing. People are moving out here.

So are the crooks.

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