Suspect arrested for Kirkland Key Bank robbery needed money for rent

Media outlets led police to man’s identification.

An Everett man has been arrested for first degree robbery, nearly six weeks after the suspect allegedly robbed the Totem Lake Key Bank in Kirkland in early June, according to Kirkland police. He later told police he needed the money to pay rent.

Police say Brent Swanson, 36, robbed the Kirkland bank, located at 12604 Totem Lake Blvd. on June 6. Police arrived on the scene but were unable to find the suspect who fled the bank on foot with an undisclosed amount of money. Bank employees said a weapon was implied, but that the suspect was not seen with one.

For the few days following the crime, Kirkland detectives, in partnership with the Seattle Sound Regional Violent Crimes Task Force, canvassed the area for any leads that would uncover the suspect’s identification.

Investigators came across video surveillance of the suspect after he changed and threw out the clothing he was wearing during the crime, before escaping the area. The suspect was wearing other clothing under his disguise. And police knew the general area of where he had undressed, but could not locate the clothing.

The suspect later confessed to police that he returned to the scene to grab the clothing he left behind, in the days following the robbery.

Even with capturing the suspect on video, police did not know of the man and sent the pictures and video to media outlets in the hopes that the general public may recognize the suspect.

“We got the case, we began to go through leads and ran out of leads,” said Kirkland Crpl. Cody Mann. “We had video and a couple pictures from the bank.”

News agencies ran the story, as did Crime Stoppers and the television show “Washington’s Most Wanted.” Over the next few weeks, several anonymous tips gave police crucial information that led to the suspect’s identification.

“The only reason we were able to solve the crime is because we received so many tips on his ID,” Mann said. “Without the media and those tipsters we wouldn’t be able to do this.”

On July 17, Kirkland detectives served a search warrant at the suspect’s residence. As the warrant was being served at the home’s front door, the suspect attempted to leave out the back sliding door, Mann said. But detectives were already posted out back and the suspect was taken into custody.

Inside the home detectives located items of evidence, including some of the clothing worn as the crime was committed and captured on video.

Swanson later confessed to the crime during an interview and was remorseful, police said. He robbed the bank on the day his $700 rent was due for his one-room space. The suspect told police he used the money he stole to pay his rent.

“He basically explained he was up against the wall,” Mann said. “He had rent to pay and didn’t have any money. This was the quick fix to solve that problem.”

Swanson was booked into the King County Jail on a first degree robbery charge.