Bellingham bank robber sentenced to 5 months plus mental health treatment

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDOctober 17, 2013 

BELLINGHAM - A woman who robbed a Bellingham bank by slipping a threatening note to the teller must serve five months in jail and get mental health treatment.

Sondra Dulaney, 55, of Blaine, wore a wig and large dark sunglasses on the morning of Aug. 15, when she handed the note to a teller at Banner Bank, 1250 Barkley Blvd., according to court records. The note demanded cash and implied she had a gun.

Dulaney put the money in a bag she brought with her. She got into a blue Ford Explorer - with no license plates - and headed toward Interstate 5. She exited at Meridian Street, and police pulled her over near the Burger King at Telegraph Road. She hadn't taken off the wig, the sunglasses or her long-sleeved denim jacket worn during the robbery.

After being advised of her right to remain silent, she told police she robbed the bank because she was "just desperate for money," according to charging papers.

She didn't have a gun on her, Public Defender Darrin Hall said Wednesday, Oct. 16. She has been diagnosed with a mental illness, Hall added. He declined to elaborate.

Dulaney has been in jail since the robbery. She had no criminal history. She pleaded guilty to second-degree robbery and agreed to comply with mental health treatment. Court paperwork shows restitution has yet to be determined. She's also banned from Banner Bank.

Reach Caleb Hutton at 360-715-2276 or caleb.hutton@bellinghamherald.com. Read his Dispatcher Blog at bellinghamherald.com/dispatcher-blog or follow him on Twitter at @bhamcrime.

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