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September 10, 2014 at 8:12 AM

Did Whidbey Island bank robber buy time with hoax call?

CLINTON (AP) — An Island County sheriff’s officer says the man who robbed a bank on Washington’s Whidbey Island may have also placed a hoax 911 call moments earlier to make a bogus report of a murder and divert officers’ attention.

KOMO-TV reports that Detective Ed Wallace says a masked man armed with a black handgun walked into a Wells Fargo branch in Clinton on Monday and demanded money from a teller.

Once he got the money, officers say the robber took an employee’s car keys and left the area in her Silver 2000 Toyota 4 Runner Sport.

While the robbery was occurring, several deputies were on the other side of Whidbey Island to investigate a reported shooting. Wallace said 911 dispatchers received a frantic call saying a man had killed his girlfriend and was threatening suicide in the Freeland area.

Wallace said the hoax 911 call delayed the police response when the bank robbery was called in.

Police later found the stolen car, but not the robber.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: Bank robbery, fake 911 call, Whidbey Island

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