Pierce County prosecutors have charged a 52-year-old man in connection with two bank robberies last month in the Spanaway area.
James Wesley Twiggs was arraigned Tuesday on two counts of first-degree robbery and two counts of threatening to bomb or injure property. He’s being held in Pierce County Jail in lieu of $ 1 million bail.
Prosecutors allege Twiggs was responsible for bank robberies on March 24 and March 31.
The March 24 heist occurred at the Heritage Bank, 15211 Pacific Ave. S., in Spanaway. Employees reported that the robber entered the bank and slid a note and bag to a teller, court documents state.
The note referred to a bomb and ordered the teller to put the money in the bag. The teller placed the cash in the bag, then gave the robber the bag and the note. The robber fled and was seen getting into a silver van that sped off, court documents state.
The March 31 heist occurred at the Timberland Bank, 2419 224th St. E., in Spanaway. Employees reported that the robber entered the bank and handed a teller a note and a bag. The note read, “BOMB will go off in 2 minutes put all large bills in the bag,” court documents state.
The teller put cash in the bag and give it back to the robber. The robber fled on foot. The search for the bank robber prompted a short lockdown at nearby Elk Plain School of Choice.
Pierce County sheriff’s investigators put together a bulletin on the robberies, the bandit’s description and a description of the getaway vehicle. A sheriff’s detectives suspected Twiggs, a registered Level 3 sex offender, should be considered a suspect, court documents state.
A photo montage was prepared and included Twiggs’ photo. The montage was shown to witnesses of both robberies and several identified Twiggs as the bank robber, court documents state.
On Monday, Twiggs reported to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department to update his sex offender registration status and was arrested in connection with the bank robberies. Detectives interviewed Twiggs, who admitted to the crimes.
He described details that matched what investigators found. He said he had not been armed and there were no bombs, charging documents state. He refused to identify his getaway driver but did admit to leaving each scene in his sister’s van.
“Twiggs said he committed the robberies because his only source of income is Social Security and he is recently homeless,” charging documents state.