A Called Third Strike?

Under Washington’s Persistent Offender Accountability Act — also known as the “three strikes law” — Wayne Sherman Postlethwait, 48, could face life imprisonment for a robbery at Bank of America last summer.

Postlethwait has previous convictions for robbery, one in Idaho in 1980 for holding up a 7-Eleven for cash and beer, and one for robbing two people in Utah in 1985.

But his possible “third strike” is not a done deal — a “contested hearing” will be held April 30 and a judge will decide whether it qualifies.

And what crimes constitute strikes?


According to Kitsap County Deputy Prosecutor Tyler Tornabene, any “class A” felony can be ruled a strike offense. That includes murder, rape, robbery and violent assault. But other “class B” felonies are also possible strikes, including: second-degree assault, second-degree robbery, manslaughter, second-degree kidnapping, and second-degree assault of a child.

Here are all the robberies of 2006, in chronological order, according to the Kitsap Sun’s archives. Postlethwait’s, on July 16, was the only one we know of that went to trial. As you’ll see, some went unsolved and the FBI believes that four were the work of Michael Roger Yates, 24, of Shelton, dubbed the “Pillowcase Bandit.”

At 9 a.m. April 20, a man walked up to the counter at the Key Bank in East Bremerton, cocked a “shiny” handgun to “one side” and told a teller, “Give me all your money,” according to police reports. He fled, and Kitsap Sun records do not indicate he’s been caught.

At 11 a.m. May 30, Yates is accused of wearing a black stocking mask, entering the Kitsap Bank’s Wheaton Way branch, and ordering everyone to the ground while showing a gun, then took money from tellers’ tills, according to police reports.

At 3 p.m. June 22, Yates is accused of wearing a red mask and running into the same Kitsap Bank. He did not show a gun, but again customers and employees were ordered to the ground and the man took money from each till and walked calmly across the Wheaton Mall parking lot. He began running when he reached the Big Lots store, police reports said.

At 2 p.m. June 23, Yates is accused of wearing a red mask and using a gun to hold up the Washington Mutual Bank on Mile Hill Drive, before hopping the counter and taking money from the tills, sheriff’s reports said.

At 2 p.m. June 30, Yates is again accused of a robbery, this time wearing a green mask and robbing the same Washington Mutual Bank. He made his getaway through a defunct video store nearby and a forest behind the South Park Mall.

At about 4 p.m. July 14, Postlethwait entered the Bank of America at 1600 NE Riddell Road, outside Bremerton’s eastern city limits. He was wearing a yellow hard hat, plaid shirt and blue jeans and fled into the woods behind Chips Casino after the robbery.

At about 11 a.m. Oct. 30, a young adult male waited in line at the Silverdale branch of Wells Fargo Bank, located on Mickelberry Road and Ridgetop Boulevard. He stepped up to the teller, announced the robbery and said he had a gun. After taking an undisclosed amount of money, he left on foot. He remains at large.

3 thoughts on “A Called Third Strike?

  1. A third strike is a third strike no matter how you look at it. A conviction is a conviction, no matter what state is was done in. He committed a crime, he must do the time, even if it is life in prison! This man needs to be off the streets for good so he can’t impress fear into anyone else. The defense was really reaching when they said this wasn’t a robbery!

  2. What you describe certainly falls under the three strikes law…

    Shoplifting without threat to another person seems far less worthy of a ‘strike’ sentence…I once knew a kleptomaniac…she picked up things everywhere. She could easily have bought the small things she stole..
    Sharon O’Hara

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