Bail set for Nisqually tribal council member in connection to attempted robbery

A Thurston County Superior Court judge set bail at $75,000 Thursday for William Thomas C. Frank, a member of the Nisqually tribal council who was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of attempted bank robbery.

Charging documents have found probable cause for two counts of attempted robbery in the first degree.

During Thursday’s preliminary hearing, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Joe Jackson requested bail at $75,000 cash or bond, saying the intent behind the allegations was very serious and that Frank was creating a dangerous situation. He also referenced a separate Washington State Patrol investigation, allegedly involving Frank, which shows he might be a flight risk.

Details on that case were not immediately available.

But Frank’s attorney, a public defender who was appointed only for Thursday’s hearing -- Frank plans to hire a private attorney -- argued that Frank has a lack of criminal history and also pointed out that although Frank created a lot of suspicion at the banks, no “direct threats were made” and there were “not a whole lot of acts inside the banks.”

The public defender countered with bail of $5,000.

Judge Anne Hirsch disagreed, saying Frank’s intent posed “significant safety issues.” She also said he may not leave the state without permission and is to have no contact with the banks. She set an arraignment date of July 15.

According to the charging documents:

About 2:45 p.m. and again a little later Wednesday, employees with Umpqua Bank and Columbia Bank, both of which are on Harrison Avenue in west Olympia, notified police about a suspicious person inside the banks wearing small bandages on his face and heavy clothing for a warm day.

Olympia Police officers arrived in the area and stopped the suspect’s SUV, noticing clothes in a back seat that fit an earlier description. They also found a plastic replica handgun, which had the appearance of a semi-automatic, and the orange tip of the gun had been marked over with black ink.

Police later identified the gun as a pellet gun, according to an Olympia Police Department news release.

Frank eventually admitted to police that he had entered both banks with the intent to commit a robbery.

“Frank stated on each attempt his conscience took over and he couldn’t proceed with his plan to rob the bank,” charging documents state.

Frank also said that he had financial problems and believed a bank robbery was a “way out of those obligations,” according to the Olympia Police news release.

Nisqually Tribe Chairwoman Cythia Iyall could not be reached Thursday.

Rolf Boone: 360-754-5403