Tacoma transient pleads not guilty to three holdups

Staff writerApril 11, 2014 

A Tacoma transient has pleaded not guilty to several charges related to the robberies of a bank, restaurant and credit union.

Joseph Smith, 49, was ordered held in Pierce County Jail on $200,000 bail after pleading not guilty to two counts of first-degree robbery and one count each of first-degree attempted robbery and third-degree theft.

Prosecutors say Smith most recently held up a Twin Star Credit Union branch in the 13500 block of Pacific Avenue on Feb. 10. He allegedly handed a teller a note demanding money and fled with an undisclosed amount of cash in a purse.

He also robbed a KeyBank branch in the 13800 block of Pacific Avenue on Dec. 5 with a threatening note to the teller, according to charging papers.

The theft charge stems from an incident at a Denny’s restaurant in the 10800 block of Pacific Avenue on New Year’s Eve. Smith allegedly requested change from the cashier and then grabbed money from the till before fleeing, court records show.

Sheriff’s detectives identified Smith from a tipster who recognized him on posters featured by Tacoma-Pierce County CrimeStoppers.

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