By ELROY KING
Gorge News Report
An 18-year-old Portland, Ore., man was arrested in Bingen last Thursday by city and county police after a credit union robbery in The Dalles that afternoon.
The suspect, identified as Michael R. Soesbe, 18, of Portland, Ore., was apprehended without incident by city and county police after allegedly robbing the Oregon Territory Federal Credit Union in The Dalles and fleeing in a vehicle stolen from a bank employee.
According to Bingen-White Salmon Police Chief Ned Kindler, Soesbe gave himself up to city and county police officers after he pulled into a vacant lot next to Bingen's McDonald's restaurant and was ordered to get out of the vehicle.
"In a situation like this, we never go in without backup," Kindler said, referring to the three officers involved in the suspect's capture.
Police subsequently secured the stolen vehicle until a detective from The Dalles Police Department arrived to take custody of the crime scene.
The suspect was transported to the Klickitat County Jail by Bingen-White Salmon police, and was being held for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and possession of stolen property (the money), Ed Goodman, The Dalles assistant police chief, told The Dalles Chronicle.
Charges in The Dalles are pending, but could include robbery and kidnapping. Goodman said the FBI has indicated it may enter the case as well.
Word of the credit union robbery came at 4:35 p.m. when The Dalles police received an alarm company report for the business' address. At about the same time, a passerby called 9-1-1 to report suspicious activity.
Goodman said employees reported a man wearing a mask entered the bank and displayed what appeared to be a handgun, demanding money.
After getting the money, he tied up four or five employees, Goodman said. The employees were left inside the building and the suspect took keys from one of them for a pickup truck.
He left the area in the vehicle, eventually crossing into Klickitat County at Dallesport and traveling west before being stopped in Bingen.
Goodman said an all-points bulletin was sent out and at 5:13 the vehicle was spotted in the Bingen area and subsequently stopped. An undisclosed amount of money taken in the robbery was discovered.
The employees who were tied up were not physically injured, Goodman said, but were shaken by the incident.
(Sverre Bakke of The Enterprise also contributed to this report.)