Crime

Veteran bank robber arraigned in holdup of Puyallup bank

A man arraigned and charged Friday in a Puyallup bank robbery pleaded guilty in 2010 to robbing two banks, including the same branch that was robbed last week.

Omaha Tony Tufono, 52, pleaded not guilty to the robbery charge in Pierce County Superior Court. Judge Kitty-Ann Van Doorninck set his bail at $500,000.

According to police, Tufono held up the U.S. Bank branch at 222 39th Ave. SE at 2 p.m. April 4 and did not show a weapon before fleeing.

Surveillance images from the bank led to tips that put Tufono at a Parkland hotel, where he was arrested.

Tufono is a suspect in robberies of an Umpqua Bank in University Place and a KeyBank in Federal Way, according to Puyallup police Capt. Scott Engle.

Federal Way police arrested Tufono during a traffic stop Jan. 28, 2010, when they found him covered in red dye from a pack that exploded after the holdup of a U.S. Bank branch at 1436 S. 312th St., according to The News Tribune archives.

He was convicted of theft in that case.

When Tufono was arrested in King County, his DNA was taken. When it was processed, it tied him to the Jan. 15, 2010, robbery of the Puyallup U.S. Bank.

The robber cut his hand and it bled into the till after he impatiently jumped over the counter.

Tufono also matched the description of a robber of the Sound Community Bank at 2941 S. 38th St. on Oct. 29, 2009.

Tufono pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery for those cases on Oct. 22, 2010.

Kenny Ocker: 253-597-8627, @KennyOcker

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