Alleged 'Buddy Bandits' mastermind appears in court

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KENT, Wash. - He's known as one of the "buddy bandits."

The alleged “mastermind” behind 15 bank robberies spanning three counties appeared in court Thursday morning.

Investigators said adults acted as lookouts as underage boys committed holdups at the banks.

Robert Adams appeared at the Regional Justice Center in Kent on charges of first-degree robbery.

Adams is accused of coaching the boys to execute his method.

According to court documents, the 31-year-old is "the alleged mastermind behind 15 bank robberies" and one attempted robbery.

Court documents said he involved three juveniles in at least six of the bank robberies, including 15-year-old Josiah Lane, who pleaded not guilty to first degree robbery.

In March, Adams entered a bank inside a grocery store in Auburn and handed a note to the teller, demanding money, according to prosecutors.

The crime spree spanned King, Pierce and Spokane counties.

Adams pleaded not guilty and is being held on $750,000 bail.

Police said Adams told them he “blamed his addition to heroin in part” although never confessed to the robberies.

Two other adults are also accused in connection with some of the robberies, including Federal Way boxer Vincent Thompson.

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