A 32-year-old former employee of the Grocery Outlet on Harrison Avenue is accused of robbing the South Sound Bank branch in the same strip mall where he worked, court papers state.
Michael Easterday, of Milroy Street in Olympia, was arrested Tuesday afternoon. He was being held Wednesday at the Thurston County Jail on suspicion of first-degree robbery. Bail was set at $50,000.
Olympia police used a tracking device with a global positioning system that had been sandwiched between the currency the teller gave the bank robbery suspect to locate Easterday at his Milroy Street home after the robbery, court papers state.
According to court papers:
Police were dispatched to the South Sound Bank about 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, after an alarm there was activated. The teller reported to police that a man approached her in the bank with a paper bag and ordered her to put money in it. The man kept his right hand in his jacket pocket, and was holding an object there so that it appeared to be a gun, the teller said.
The teller activated the alarm after the man left.
Emergency dispatchers advised police over the radio that the alarm company hired by the bank had reported that the GPS tracker had moved, then stopped moving, at a residence on Milroy Street. Police responded to the residence and watched a man leave the residence, get in a vehicle and drive off.
Emergency dispatchers then reported to police that the GPS tracking device was in the area of the Abalon Pointe Apartments on Black Lake Road in Olympia, just a few blocks from Milroy Street.
A few minutes later, police on Milroy Street saw the same vehicle return to the residence. A man got out of the vehicle and went inside.
Dispatchers then reported the GPS tracker was stationary in the area of the Abalon Pointe Apartments. Police later found the tracker in a dumpster there. Police officers surrounded the Milroy Street residence, and one officer called out while standing in front of the residence – Easterday came out of the residence and was placed under arrest.
Easterday admitted that he robbed the South Sound Bank. He said he did not have a weapon, but had attached a nail to a socket, and placed it in his jacket pocket so it would look like a gun.
Police obtained a search warrant for Easterday’s residence and found a stack of $20 bills that had previously contained the tracking device.