Alleged bank robber's mom helps put him away for Pierce County holdups

Staff writerAugust 30, 2013 

Surveillance photos of Tacoma bank robberies, clockwise starting top left: U.S. Bank 10:45 a.m. June 24 in the 800 block of South 38th Street, KeyBank 4:55 p.m. June 28 in the 3500 block of South 19th Street, Columbia Bank 11:10 a.m. July 29 in the 1900 block of South Union Avenue, Sterling Savings Bank 3:10 p.m. July 3 in the 4800 block of Tacoma Mall Boulevard, U.S. Bank 1:10 p.m. Monday in the 800 block of South 38th Street.

COURTESY PHOTO — Tacoma-Pierce County Crime Stoppers

A mother recently flipped through photographs of her son, but these weren’t images of him playing as a child or on his way to prom. These pictures showed him robbing banks.

Tacoma police detectives relied on Devin Green’s mother to identify him from surveillance pictures spanning 11 holdups in three cities over the last two months.

His mother’s certainty that it was her son in the photographs helped Pierce County prosecutors charge Green, 21, with eight counts of first-degree robbery and three counts of attempted first-degree robbery. Green pleaded not guilty to the charges Thursday and was ordered held in lieu of $500,000 bail.

Prosecutors said Green is a Hilltop Crip who hired a fellow gang member to drive him on at least three of the bank robberies. His alleged getaway driver, Levaughn McVea, has been charged with first-degree robbery and will eventually face more charges for other holdups.

The bank robberies started June 24 and ended Aug. 17, a day before Green was arrested during a traffic stop while driving a car associated with the holdups in Tacoma, Fircrest and University Place.

He usually wore baseball hats, jackets and gloves when he politely passed a note to a teller, indicating he had a gun but nobody would get hurt if they handed him cash in a bag.

No weapon was ever shown and nobody was hurt during the robberies.

After realizing the same person was responsible for the rash of bank robberies, Tacoma police distributed a flier to local banks with a surveillance photo taken during one of the holdups.

Several tellers later recognized Green when he walked into their bank branch.

He pulled off three heists before his first unsuccessful attempt at a Key Bank branch in Tacoma July 5. Witnesses say Green walked in, looked at the security guard and three tellers and left without saying anything.

Fifteen minutes later, he was seen approaching a Heritage Bank branch in Tacoma wearing different clothes. The bank was already closed so Green walked through the drive-through area before leaving.

Several people in the area called 911 to report two suspicious men near the bank who left in a 1994 Ford Crown Victoria that was seen at a previous bank robbery.

Green waited nearly a month before allegedly robbing another bank.

He met defeat again Aug. 10 when he entered a Wells Fargo bank in Tacoma and handed a teller a note telling her he was robbing the place.

The teller had already recognized Green from the police flier.

“The teller then stated ‘This isn’t happening today’ and slid the note back to the defendant,” according to court records. “The defendant then fled.”

Police later tracked the Crown Victoria to a house in Hilltop where a woman who answered the door, identified as McVea’s fiancé, claimed she was the only one who drove the car.

Detectives worked the case hard, amassing surveillance photographs and asking witnesses and Green’s mother to identify the man in them. They scrolled Green’s Facebook page where the day he was arrested he wrote that people are filled with “envy cause I’m out here getting money,” charging documents state.

He also posted pictures of himself sporting baseball hats, jackets and brand-name jeans that matched what the robber was wearing.

While being booked into Pierce County Jail, Green allegedly claimed he worked alone. Police said McVea admitted to driving the getaway car during three robberies and receiving at least $1,000 for his help.

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