The man couldn’t convince two people to be his getaway driver following a bank robbery Wednesday in Kenmore, despite offering some of his loot. “He didn’t have an escape plan,” a King County sheriff’s spokeswoman says.

Share story

It wasn’t the best thought-out bank robbery Wednesday afternoon in Kenmore.

The robber was on foot and twice offered money to people to drive him away. Both times he was told forget it.

“He didn’t have an escape plan. We like these kinds of criminals,” says Sgt. Cindi West, spokeswoman for the King County Sheriff’s Office.

The robber, described by a witness as being in his early 20s, walked into the Chase Bank in the 6700 block of Northeast 181st Street and showed a note to a teller, West says. She says he didn’t display a weapon.

Most Read Stories

Sale! Get 90% off digital access.

He walked out with $3,200.

That’s the amount the man counted out to Luke Balogh, 19, a deli slicer at the Jimmy John’s across the bank’s parking lot.

It was around 2:30 in the afternoon and Balogh was taking his 30-minute break by sitting in his car.

The man knocked on his window and Balogh recognized him as a classmate from alternative school. The man asked if he could get in the car, and Balogh agreed.

“He told me he robbed a bank and showed me the money. He counted it in front of me, 100s and 20s,” Balogh remembers. “He told me he was a pimp and a gangster. He told me he had multiple ‘straps.’ ”

“Strapped” is slang for being armed.

Balogh says he wasn’t impressed by the guy he remembered as “a tool” in school. Now he was sitting next to Balogh, wearing gray sweatpants, a black hoodie and a snapback baseball cap and acting unsure of himself.

“He tried to have me take him somewhere else and rob more banks,” Balogh says. “I told him, ‘No.’ I needed to go back to work.”

Balogh says that the man then took his smartphone, and that Balogh got out of the car.

“He tried to commandeer my vehicle. He said he was going to shoot me,” Balogh says.

Balogh decided he was bluffing.

“I said, ‘Whatever.’ I care a lot about my car,” he says.

Balogh went back into the Jimmy John’s, and the man ran across the street to an espresso stand and “basically threw five $100 bills at (an employee) and asked her for a ride,” West says. “He told her he robbed a bank. She said, no, and he left.”

West says deputies found the suspect hiding in some bushes at the nearby Kenmore Library.