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Kirkland, Everett men charged in Kirkland Key Bank robbery

Kirkland Police Department - Contributed art
Kirkland Police Department
— image credit: Contributed art

Two men were charged with first-degree robbery Wednesday for taking money from a Finn Hill Key Bank last Friday.

Brian Ward Espelund, 41, of Everett was given a $1 million bail and his alleged accomplice, Michael Joseph Rogers, Jr., 47, from Kirkland faces a $100,000 bail. Both are being held in King County jail.

Espelund allegedly walked into Key Bank on Nov. 2 and handed the teller a note, demanding money. About $5,480 was picked up, according to charging documents.

Espelund allegedly directed the teller to exclude any dye packs or trackers in the money. Court documents indicate the suspect was wearing a disguise comprised of a blonde wig, black Seahawks baseball hat and black track suit.

Witnesses say a man wearing a wig proceeded to run north toward an apartment complex after exiting the bank.

Kirkland police arrived at the scene. A witness said Espelund supposedly got into a turquoise-green Dodge pick-up truck with silver on the bottom, which then drove quickly away, and was headed north on Juanita Drive N.E. King County charging documents indicate Rogers was the driver of the vehicle.

An officer drove down Juanita Drive and stopped when he noticed the vehicle matching the description. But the truck took off as soon as the officer put on his lights.

After failure to yield, speeding and other traffic violations ensued, the truck stopped in the parking lot of the Manhatten Express grocery store.

Rogers and a 29-year-old woman who has not been charged, were arrested. Police found Espelund hiding in the cab of the truck.

An officer at the scene observed dark clothing and a “crisp” $50 bill lying on the floorboards of the truck, according to documents.

The bank teller was brought to the scene and positively identified Espelund as the robber. The witness also positively identified the vehicle as the truck he saw fleeing the scene.

Although officers informed Espelund of his Miranda rights twice, he told officers he thought it would be a good idea to rob the bank on a Friday after people had deposited their paychecks, the documents continue.

The woman involved said she was dropped off by the men at a supermarket before the crime and then picked up again about 10 to 15 minutes after. She claimed there was no conversation of the robbery until the arrests were made.

The two men had slightly different stories on the woman’s role in the situation.

Rogers’ neighbor confirmed details of the crime, documents continue, and added that she had been keeping a detailed log of Rogers’ suspicious activity.

Both Rogers and Espelund have previous convictions. Rogers has been convicted of drug possession, assault, disorderly conduct and federal bank robbery. Espelund has a history of assault, theft, possession of drug paraphernalia, false statements, burglary, robber and forgery.

Arraignment is scheduled for Nov. 21.

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