Monthly Archives: July 2006

‘Pillowcase Bandit’ Capture Ends Mystery

Prior to the arrest of Michael Roger Yates, 24, for attempting to pass counterfeit money in his hometown of Shelton, the mystery of who was terrorizing local banks in four “takeover-style” robberies was alive and well.

Yates’ capture spells the end of what turned out to be a multi-agency investigation — including first the Bremerton Police Department, then the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office, then the Federal Bureau of Investigation — that now moves onto prosecutors with the U.S. District Attorney’s Office.

Yates’ “modus operandi” was consistent in the four robberies that hit twice the Kitsap Bank in East Bremerton and two more at the Washington Mutual in South Kitsap. It was also familiar to an August 2002 “takeover” robbery at the Belfair Community Credit Union — a holdup Yates confessed to and did 33 months in a state prison for.

I’ve included the FBI’s sketch of Yates before his capture, his real mug shot, and a Washington Mutual camera shot allegedly of him — keep in mind that he may have confessed to the robberies but hasn’t been convicted yet — for you to see for yourself.

Yates’ arrest also solved four of seven unsolved robberies in the area. The other three — one of the Kitsap Bank on Wheaton in November, another of the Kitsap Bank on Lebo in December and one more at the Key Bank on Wheaton in January — still remain unsolved.

Vandals: What Gives?

Vandalism, according to, is defined as:

“Willful or malicious destruction of public or private property.”

In Kitsap recently, there has been more of the “public” kind, including attacks on the Kitsap Sun Pavilion, the Sylvan Way Branch of the Kitsap Regional Library and several area schools.

The culprits have caused thousands of dollars in damages, created eye sores in the community and disrupted the activities of patrons at the sites.

What gives?

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Accused Bainbridge Teacher Caught in Renton

A former high school science teacher accused of keeping child pornography on his home and work computers was arrested today by Renton police for violating terms of his bail agreement, according to Bainbridge Island police.

Charles Patrick Murphy, 46, was arrested Jan. 18 for having “images and videos of adolescent boys” on a home and classroom computer, according to police and court reports. The Bainbridge Island School District fired him from his teaching job at Bainbridge High School.

He posted $40,000 bail following his arraignment Jan. 19. Bainbridge Police Detective Scott Weiss said Murphy has violated two conditions of his release: He had been living at unknown address different than the one he gave to court officials and he had contact with minors other than his son.

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Library Vandalized Again

Vandals again damaged the Sylvan Way branch of the Kitsap Regional Library,
breaking out six windows late Wednesday or early Thursday.

Someone threw large rocks through the windows between 8 p.m. Wednesday and 7
a.m. Thursday, a library spokeswoman said. Glass and debris littered the
eastern part of the library, which includes the children’s reading area and
the nonfiction area.

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8 Hours

The Kitsap Sun broke a story last week about a DUI suspect caught in the Westpark area of Bremerton who turned out to be a murder suspect in San Francisco.

Determining that DUI suspect Foi Chi Duong had the same fingerprints as 2002 murder and kidnapping suspect Tu Minh Doung took law enforcement about 8 hours to figure out.

How did it happen? Here’s an hour by hour look.

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What’s a 3.5 Hearing?

Richeal Rhoades, 22, a young Navy wife who allegedly let her own baby girldie due to neglect last November, will be in court today for a “3.5 hearing.”

A “3.5 hearing” determines if statements a defendant makes to police during
an initial investigation can be admissible at trial, according to Rhoades’
attorney Tim Kelly. He’s a criminal defense lawyer who has practiced in Port
Orchard since 1990.

At Rhoades’ hearing, testimony will come from Bremerton police officers, who
took statements from her during her arrest in early December, and members of
the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, who conducted a video interview
with her.

The “3.5” refers to criminal rule 3.5, as established by the Washington
State Supreme Court, Kelly said.

The trial of Rhoades, who is charged with second-degree felony murder, is
slated to begin Sept. 11.

Taser in Action (Revisited)

Blogger’s Note: The following is my first-hand account of a Taser in use by two officers in the Bremerton Police Department, as I’d blogged earlier. Feel free to comment on what you think of the weapon at the end.

I was riding along with Bremerton Police’s morning shift last Thursday when we got a 911 call from an assisted living home in East Bremerton for a man claiming he was “talking to God” on his balcony.

Little did I know that the call would provide a first-hand look at a new tool that most officers I’ve talked to claim is the most effective one added to law enforcement in years.

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