Police in Redmond and Kirkland are investigating two similar robberies Monday night in which people using drive-up ATMs were pepper-sprayed...

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Police in Redmond and Kirkland are investigating two similar robberies Monday night in which people using drive-up ATMs were pepper-sprayed and their money stolen.

The police said yesterday that they’re not sure whether the crimes were committed by the same person, because both victims were temporarily blinded and one could not describe the culprit. But they said the incidents were not only similar but happened little more than an hour apart. Redmond police were called to a robbery about 8:30 p.m. at a Washington Mutual branch at 8010 164th Ave. N.E. The victim said he was in his car and had just withdrawn cash from the ATM when someone approached the driver’s-side window, sprayed him in the face and grabbed the money. The robber ran away and police couldn’t track him.

About 9:45 p.m., Kirkland police were called to the second incident, at a Bank of America branch in the Juanita neighborhood.

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The victim told police he also was sprayed in the face while parked at the drive-up ATM. The robber took about $22 in cash and the man’s camcorder.

This time, though, the victim got a glimpse of the robber, police said: a black man in his late teens to early 20s, about 5-feet-10 inches to 6 feet and between 160 and 170 pounds, with a dark hooded jacket and a blue bandanna covering the bottom half of his face.

Police said the robber ran north from the ATM toward a gravel parking lot. A police dog was unable to follow his trail, suggesting he drove away. Anyone with information can call the Redmond police detective squad at 425-556-2585 or Kirkland police at 425-587-3400.

“We’re just hoping that people are paying attention to what they’re doing when they go to an ATM machine,” said Redmond police Officer Stacey Holland. “People are always in such a hurry that they’re not always paying attention to what’s happening around them.”

Karen Gaudette: 206-515-5618 or kgaudette@seattletimes.com