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Kirkland and Everett Men Charged in Robbery of Key Bank on Finn Hill

Brain Espelund, 40, of Everett is accused of robbing the bank while 47-year-old Michael Rogers Jr. of Kirkland is charged with being the getaway driver. Both have long criminal histories.

 

A 40-year-old man from Everett and a 47-year-old man from Kirkland -- both with long criminal histories -- were charged Wednesday with first-degree robbery last Friday of the Key Bank branch atop Finn Hill on Juanita Drive.

The Kirkland man, Michael Joseph Rogers Jr., is accused by King County prosecutors of being the getaway driver and is in King County Jail on bail of $100,000. The man prosecutors say entered the bank wearing a blond wig, cap and black jogging suit and passed a note to a teller demanding money -- Brian Ward Espelund, 40 -- is in jail on bail of $1 million.

Charging documents claim Rogers drove a Dodge truck and dropped off Espelund in an apartment complex just north of the bank at about 5 p.m., and that Espelund admitted to Kirkland police he entered the bank in his disguise and gave a teller a note demanding money and warning her not to include any dye packets or tracking devices. He then left the bank and, observed by a passerby, ran back to the apartment complex.

A Kirkland police officer responding to a 9-1-1 call from the passerby was approached by the passerby, who tipped the officer off to the suspect and the vehicle he left in. The officer found and pulled over the truck a short distance north on Juanita Drive. Rogers and a female passenger got out, and the officer then allegedly discovered Espelund hiding on the floor in the back of the truck cab.

After a search warrant was obtained, police found the wig, hat and cash -- including five marked bills.

They also interviewed a neighbor of Rogers, who had been documenting his movements due to concern about criminal activity, who gave them additional evidence.

Charging documents indicate Espelund has a record of assault, theft, burglary, aggravated robbery, disorderly conduct and possession of drug paraphernalia. And Rogers’ record includes cases of assault, theft, malicious mischief, disorderly conduct, and possibly a federal bank robbery conviction.

Arraignment is scheduled for Nov. 21.

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