Suspected Spokane Bank Robber Mentored By Ex-Con, Records Show - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Suspected Spokane Bank Robber Mentored By Ex-Con, Records Show

Posted: Updated:
SPOKANE, Wash. -

It sounds like a story out of the Old West: a man robs three banks in eight days – then disappears while police try to track him down. When they do, they learn he was mentored by a man who is on federal probation for prior bank robbery convictions.

That's what Spokane Police and records from the Spokane County Courthouse show recently happened.

Police say Scott Ruziecki, 40, is behind the robberies of the Banner Bank inside Safeway in Hillyard on August 9th, the U.S. Bank inside Albertsons on Trent on August 12th, and the Banner Bank inside Safeway near Gonzaga University on August 16th.

Other than a 2012 case for trafficking stolen property, Ruziecki has no criminal history in Washington.

So how did he do it? Police say Charles West, 50, helped him. Described as Ruziecki's mentor, court records show West has a criminal history of robbing banks.

"[Ruziecki] described Mr. West as showing him how to do this and describing bank robberies as very easy and that his chances of getting caught are very low," Spokane Police Lt. Mark Griffiths said.

His run finally ended after a woman called in a tip Wednesday, leading police to West – the man they say drove the get-a-way car in the first two robberies.

Their investigation lead to Ruziecki's associates and possible places he may be. When police saw him at a home under surveillance Monday night on South Arthur, they moved in. After a 3-hour SWAT standoff, he gave himself up.

"I think he was very brazen and didn't think it through," Griffiths added. "He underestimated the surveillance and was very bold this week."

Court records show Ruziecki dyed his hair after police released surveillance photos to the public in an attempt to find him. Police heard he'd made statements that he would shoot police if confronted, and that he wasn't going to be taken down alive. But in the end, no gun was found when he was arrested.

Ruziecki's now in jail on $200,000 bail, and will back in court for an arraignment September 3rd.

 

 

 

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • PHOTOS: Flash flooding & mudslides trap people in Okanogan County

    PHOTOS: Flash flooding & mudslides trap people in Okanogan County

    Friday, August 22 2014 9:12 PM EDT2014-08-23 01:12:14 GMT
    OKANOGAN COUNTY, Wash.- Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers tells KHQ that as of 5:00pm Friday evening, Highway 20 is back open and no homes are threaten after numerous mudslides washed out roads and stranded drivers Thursday night and Friday morning. >>
    OKANOGAN COUNTY, Wash.- Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers tells KHQ that as of 5:00pm Friday evening, Highway 20 is back open and no homes are threaten after numerous mudslides washed out roads and stranded drivers Thursday night and Friday morning. >>
  • PHOTOS: CASH REWARD offered for information leading to the arrest of these FUGITIVES

    PHOTOS: CASH REWARD offered for information leading to the arrest of these FUGITIVES

    Friday, August 22 2014 7:41 PM EDT2014-08-22 23:41:09 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Crime Stoppers of the Inland Northwest is offering cash rewards for any information leading to the arrest of the fugitives listed on their website as of August 21, 2014. If you recognize any of these fugitives, you are asked call 1-800-222 TIPS.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Crime Stoppers of the Inland Northwest is offering cash rewards for any information leading to the arrest of the fugitives listed on their website as of August 21, 2014. If you recognize any of these fugitives, you are asked call 1-800-222 TIPS.>>
  • Dog recovering from gun shots looks for loving home

    Dog recovering from gun shots looks for loving home

    Friday, August 22 2014 5:00 PM EDT2014-08-22 21:00:29 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Just for a second, forget everything you think you know about Pit Bulls. Forget that you think they are vicious or that you've heard they attack children. Approaching this story with an open mind might just change your opinion of what can actually be a very sweet, people-loving breed. A very special pit bull is lucky to be alive after enduring two gun shot wounds and abuse that left her blind in one eye.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Just for a second, forget everything you think you know about Pit Bulls. Forget that you think they are vicious or that you've heard they attack children. Approaching this story with an open mind might just change your opinion of what can actually be a very sweet, people-loving breed. A very special pit bull is lucky to be alive after enduring two gun shot wounds and abuse that left her blind in one eye.>>
  • Top Stories from KHQTop StoriesMore>>

  • 2 extricated in southern Spokane County crash

    2 extricated in southern Spokane County crash

    Saturday, August 23 2014 10:41 AM EDT2014-08-23 14:41:22 GMT
    Crews extricated at least two people from a car early Saturday morning after a serious crash closed a roadway for hours in southern Spokane County.The crash happened after 3 a.m.on E. Mica Cemetery Road, about 6 miles south of Spokane Valley according to the Washington State Patrol.E. Mica Cemetery Road was closed until just before 6 a.m. Saturday.WSP there were serious injuries in the crash, but details are still limited.We will bring you more updates as they become available.>>
    Crews extricated at least two people from a car early Saturday morning after a serious crash closed a roadway for hours in southern Spokane County.The crash happened after 3 a.m.on E. Mica Cemetery Road, about 6 miles south of Spokane Valley according to the Washington State Patrol.E. Mica Cemetery Road was closed until just before 6 a.m. Saturday.WSP there were serious injuries in the crash, but details are still limited.We will bring you more updates as they become available.>>
  • Spokane County Sheriff's Office gets new helicopters thanks to donation

    Spokane County Sheriff's Office gets new helicopters thanks to donation

    Saturday, August 23 2014 2:35 AM EDT2014-08-23 06:35:27 GMT
    SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash.- In mid-August the Spokane County Sheriff's office announced they're getting new helicopters. The new helicopters will replace the aging Air One chopper that the Sheriff's office uses right now. On Friday we got a first hand look at one of the two helicopters, which were donated by the U.S. Army and cost taxpayers nothing.>>
    SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash.- In mid-August the Spokane County Sheriff's office announced they're getting new helicopters. The new helicopters will replace the aging Air One chopper that the Sheriff's office uses right now. On Friday we got a first hand look at one of the two helicopters, which were donated by the U.S. Army and cost taxpayers nothing.>>
  • Gleason Fest 2014 set for Saturday, August 23rd

    Gleason Fest 2014 set for Saturday, August 23rd

    Saturday, August 23 2014 1:57 AM EDT2014-08-23 05:57:35 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash.- You've been watching the ALS ice bucket challenges all week, but on Saturday, August 23rd, the mother of all ALS events is set to take place: Gleason Fest 2014. Named for Spokane native and former New Orleans Saint Steve Gleason, the event will be held in downtown Spokane at Division and Main.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash.- You've been watching the ALS ice bucket challenges all week, but on Saturday, August 23rd, the mother of all ALS events is set to take place: Gleason Fest 2014. Named for Spokane native and former New Orleans Saint Steve Gleason, the event will be held in downtown Spokane at Division and Main.>>