Man robs bank during work release from jail

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SEATTLE —

A man who allegedly attempted to rob a downtown bank has been caught after detectives recognized him from surveillance pictures, police said.

 

According to police, 45-year-old Patrick Mead Higuera walked into a Key Bank near Second Avenue and Columbia Street on Thursday, threatened a clerk and fled without cash.

 

“It appears he walked away from work release, walked to a bank, gave the teller a note stating he had a bomb and wanted $4,000,” said assistant prosecutor Raul Martinez.

 

Detectives with the Seattle Police Department released surveillance pictures of Higuera, and several Department of Corrections officers identified him as the man arrested and accused of a Capitol Hill bank robbery on New Year’s Eve.

 

Police said Higuera was arrested a day later when officers caught him at the doorway of a car dealership in Capitol Hill.

 

After Higuera was jailed for the New Year’s Eve robbery, he became part of a work release program, which allowed him to check out of the King County Jail during the day for work and return at night.

 

Police said Higuera checked himself out of jail on Thursday around 8:30 a.m. before attempting to rob the downtown bank.

 

Patrol officers arrested Higuera and booked him back into jail.

 

A judge set Higuera’s bail at $100,000 despite the defense attorney’s  request that Huguera be released again.

 

“I don’t think Mr. Higuera would show up if he was released. I also think he’s a substantial danger to the community,” said Judge Arthur Chapman.

 

KIRO 7 Eyewitness News tried to get hold of Judge Theresa Doyle, who made the decision to let Higuera be assigned to work release after he was already charged for a bank robbery, but she did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

 

KIRO 7 reporter Amy Clancy was informed by a union that represents jail officers that it is demanding that the work release program or who is sent to work release be examined for the public’s safety.