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Man suspected of helping teen rob Tacoma bank robbery pleads not guilty

Post by Stacia Glenn / The News Tribune on Jan. 16, 2013 at 8:48 am |
January 16, 2013 11:02 am

A 20-year-old man suspected of helping a teenager rob a Tacoma area bank Monday has been charged with first-degree robbery.

Derek James pleaded not guilty during his arraignment Tuesday. Bail was set at $250,000. Prosecutors said the 15-year-old boy, who The News Tribune is not identifying because of his age, is scheduled to be charged and arraigned Thursday.

Charging documents give this account:

The teen walked into a Key Bank branch, 3917 N. 26th Street, and handed the teller an Adidas shoebox. Attached to the box was a note that read “Put the money in the box and no one gets hurt.”

The teller put “a substantial amount of money” in the box and the teen ran out the door. A witness saw him get in a car driven by James and speed off. Sensing that a crime had just taken place, the witness followed the car until she ran into a patrol officer and told him what had happened.

Police arrested James and the teen near North 18th Street and Union Avenue. An empty shoebox was found in the backseat. More than $200 was found stuff in the floorboard. Large amounts of cash were also found stashed in the teen’s pants pockets and wallet.

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