‘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.

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