Trio charged in string of South Sound bank robberies

Pierce County prosecutors have charged three men suspected of robbing five South Sound banks in eight days.

Jacob Fox, 24; Trevor Karinen, 23; and James Venson III, 23, pleaded not guilty Thursday to four counts of first-degree robbery. They are being held in the Pierce County Jail with bails ranging from $50,000 to $500,000.

Prosecutors said the investigation is ongoing and the trio could face more charges.

The men allegedly wore baseball hats and sunglasses when they held up the banks, acting as lookouts for each other as they robbed tellers simultaneously.

In each bank robbery, the men are accused of giving notes to the tellers, threatening violence and fleeing with cash.

The robberies happened:

•  July 14 at America’s Credit Union in Spanaway.

•  July 18 at Heritage Bank in South Hill.

•  July 18 at Umpqua Bank in Federal Way.

•  July 21 at TAPCO Credit Union in Tacoma.

•  July 22 at Umpqua Bank in Spanaway

Tacoma-Pierce County Crime Stoppers circulated surveillance photographs of the robbers and a tipster identified the men, who were arrested Wednesday.

The three confessed to the string of robberies, according to charging papers.