Crime

A social media post led Bellingham Police to find suspected bank robber in a crawlspace

Bellingham Police asked for help in identifying a man who they say was involved in a robbery of the WECU branch on Orleans Street Monday afternoon. The found him hiding in a crawl space and arrested him Thursday.
Bellingham Police asked for help in identifying a man who they say was involved in a robbery of the WECU branch on Orleans Street Monday afternoon. The found him hiding in a crawl space and arrested him Thursday. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

Bellingham Police found a man they suspect of robbing the WECU bank on Orleans Street last week hiding in a crawlspace inside a bedroom closet Thursday in a house near Alderwood Elementary.

Crayton Santana Lawrence, 34, was booked into Whatcom County Jail on suspicion of first-degree robbery and second-degree theft, and he is being held on $20,000 bail. Lawrence, according to court documents, has a previous conviction for second-degree theft in September and third-degree theft in August. He is scheduled for arraignment Friday.

Police in a Facebook post Monday asked for help identifying a man in a security camera photo obtained after they responded to a report of a bank robbery at 6:36 p.m. Nov. 26.

According to information provided by Lt. Claudia Murphy in an email Monday to The Bellingham Herald, the robber passed a note stating that nobody would be hurt if the money was given to him, “implying violence should the demand not be met.” Murphy said the bank reported a financial loss of more than $3,000 from the robbery.

Based on tips following the post, Murphy said police were able to identify Lawrence, and on Thursday, the Anti-Crime Team discovered that he was possibly at a house in the 3300 block of Hollywood Avenue.

A deputy from the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that Lawrence was in a back bedroom, Murphy said, and officers called for Lawrence to exit the house, but he ignored those commands.

Police obtained a search warrant for the house, and found him hiding in the crawlspace in a back bedroom, and he was taken into custody without incident.

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