Man Arrested By SWAT in U-District Charged For Three Bank Robberies

By Jonah Spangenthal-Lee February 23, 2010

A 29-year-old man who was arrested following a four hour standoff with police in the University District earlier this month has been charged with three counts of bank robbery.

Prosecutors say Scott Allan Ritter held up two Seattle banks and another in Issaquah in the last two months using a pellet gun, and told tellers he was robbing them because his son was sick.

Court documents say Ritter first robbed the Home Street Bank in Wedgwood on January 25th. As a bank teller was putting cash into Ritter's bag, court documents say Ritter told her "he wouldn't be doing this except for the fact that his son was sick." Ritter made off with $2,967.

Ritter is also suspected of robbing the Issaquah Bank of Washington on February 4th—which only netted him—$355, and the Key Bank in the 400 block of Westlake Ave N on February 9th, where he again told a teller about his sick son. Ritter stole $3,527 from the Key Bank, court records say.

During the Key Bank robbery, the teller was able to slip a security device into Ritter's bag, and police were able to track him to a boarding house on NE 52nd and 12th Ave NE in the University District.

As a SWAT team surrounded and evacuated the buiding, charging documents say Ritter came out of the house "asking what was going on" and was arrested. Police searched Ritter's apartment the fake gun and cash.

Ritter later confessed to the three robberies, and told police his "motivation for committing the bank robberies was to get money to pay debt and bills." Charging documents do not say whether Ritter actually has a son, but Myspace page which appears to be Ritter's says he's "Undecided" about having children.

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