A news blog for Seattle's Phinney Ridge and Greenwood neighborhoods


Woman robbed at gunpoint at Greenwood Bank of America ATM

November 23rd, 2012 · Comments

Meghan emailed us to warn the neighborhood that she was robbed at gunpoint at the Greenwood Bank of America ATM on North 85th Street late Tuesday night:

(A)t approximately 11:40pm on Tuesday, November 20, I was robbed at gunpoint at the Bank of America ATM on 85th near Greenwood Avenue. I pulled in to do a quick transaction, and when I turned to walk back to my car, I was surrounded by 3 young adult males with black hoodies and bandanas over their faces. They pulled a gun on me and demanded me to enter my PIN. They threatened to kill me if I incorrectly entered the PIN on the first try. They were late teens/early 20s.

Then, they turned to run away, but then ran back to demand my phone and car & house keys. I was left with my car (no keys) and my big black lab dog in the back of my stranded car. I begged for help from two Samaritans to call 911 and was denied assistance to call 911 by both. Thankfully, I was able to make contact with police by contacting a neighbor. Over 7 patrol cars searched the area of Greenwood to Fremont Ave and throughout Greenwood Park between 12-1am but could not locate the suspects.

A Seattle Police online report confirms the incident occurred at about 11:43 p.m. Tuesday, and was reported to police at 12:12 a.m. Wednesday.

Tags: Uncategorized


  1. Sadie says:

    I’m so sorry. You must have been terrified. I’m sickened to think that no one would call the police for you.

  2. Block Watcher says:

    Wow, bad news. There are plenty of view points surrounding that ATM that the thugs can watch for victims. The thugs were probably back in their apartment in less than two minutes.

  3. PhinneyRidgian says:

    The ATM has a camera, which I would think could be very helpful.

  4. neighbor says:

    I am so sorry to hear this and am glad that you were not physically harmed. I cannot believe people would not jump to help you, much less call 911. That is horrifying.

  5. Whopper says:

    “The thugs were probably back in their apartment in less than two minutes.”


  6. Stupid Hippie says:

    Times are tough, I blame the 1%!

  7. i heart greenwood says:

    I can’t believe no one would call 911 for you! On Thanksgiving no less! Relieved to hear you and your dog are okay. What the hell is wrong with people?!

  8. Greenweed observer says:

    What the hell is wrong with people?!

    This kind of mugging and street crime seems to be happening more often doesn’t it?

  9. Tiktok says:

    Armed robbery for $400?

  10. Margaret says:

    Glad you are safe. I am completely disheartened about the denial of calling the police by others.
    Recently there has been all the news about the good Samaritan actions of a Marysville woman helping people who had a car accident. Money was stolen from her car while she was assisting the injured. To echo the comments of others: “what is wrong with people?”

  11. Block Watcher says:

    I’d guess the unhelpful people have warrants out for them and couldn’t risk calling the police. Low life scum.

  12. joe king says:

    what kind of jerk can’t even be bothered to call 911 for someone in distress?

    probably had ear buds in and didn’t want to pause whatever uber-hip unknown band they were listening to in their scarf and beard.

  13. X says:

    Hopefully the camera will help, regarding the financial portion of the loss. Hope you are well Meghan; thanks for speaking up.

    I’m no expert but it seems that people *not* helping is *not* unusual.
    People are often told that it is unwise to put themselves at any risk.
    People often feel that they are far too busy to figure out if they are being scammed or if this is a real emergency.
    People can be particularly unwilling to consider helping if the victim looks unlike themselves.

    And then there are those whose philosophy is that helping others and taking an interest in the well-being of the community is harmful…

    Thanksgiving certainly is a time for reflection.

  14. It's Always Rainy in Seattle says:

    I’ve always found that ATM location to be a little sketchy. Now it’s even sketchier.

  15. Tiktok says:

    ATM’s should have a silent option to call the police while still dispensing money–an extra digit on the PIN for example. The things already have cameras built into them.

  16. Syd says:

    Banks have argued against such and alarm because police won’t arrive until after the robbers are long gone. In this case, the police would still have arrived long after the robbers were gone, but the victim would not have been stranded.

    I’m saddened that two passers-by would not help.

  17. Greenwood Resident says:

    Let’s not dump on the passers-by – it is not always obvious what is happening until after it is over, and sometimes the situation can be dangerous if a gang sees an individual calling 9-1-1 on them. And while the BoA ATM is lit up adequately it is off the street so someone would have to actively look at it to see something.

  18. Greenwood Resident says:

    One thing on the issue of asking for “good samaritan” help – it may come off as no different than pan handlers operating some scam. Folks who think of themselves as helpful and later see the beggars with a bottle or drivign away in an upscale car will think twice before doing it again.

  19. PAC says:

    Wow..This is an unfortunate thing to happen to someone so very sorry you had to go through such an ordeal. I never use that ATM and never use the chase ATM on Greenwood either both are not lit up adequately at night making a vulnerable area for a crime to take place. Maybe since they took her phone that they were dumb enough to use it and track them down that way. I hope them thugs get caught i believe in karma, what comes around goes around.

  20. Block Watcher says:

    We’ve been avoiding Greenwood, at night, since 2009 when Todd Boettger was severely beaten and robbed.

  21. Marybeth says:

    Requesting an update please, this is a very scary story. Was Bank of America helpful in providing video footage?

    There is NO reason for a passerby to decline calling for assistance. You do not even have to interact with the person requesting help. Dial 911 after you have left the immediate area if you must and explain what happened and that you left the area out of concern for being scammed, etc. Don’t EVER not call 911 if someone asks you to. You don’t even have to tell the requestor you are going to do it – you can just as easily do it after you have placed yourself into a safer situation.

  22. lesccand says:

    Who doesn’t call 911 when asked? This is the kind of thing that makes me want to move away from Seattle and go back to New York. People here ate snooty and so anti social

  23. Block Watcher says:

    Requesting an update please, this is a very scary story. Was Bank of America helpful in providing video footage?

    You may have to contact the bank or SPD yourself because these blogs have no reporters.

  24. Meghan says:

    Hello all,

    Thank you for all of your kind and caring comments. It’s been over a week and while I am fine physically, I’m still shook up emotionally.

    I’m hesitant to reveal too much as the suspects still have not been caught, but the Police are definitely involved and actively working on this case. They have ample video footage from the Bank as well as various other evidence/leads. They take this type of crime really seriously.

    As for the two people I asked for help to call 911 – I completely agree with all of you. In some ways, that has been harder to wrap my head around than the actual crime. I’m disheartened that they didn’t. The lag time of when the police were finally called makes a lot of difference.

    Everyone I have dealt with throughout this process – police, bank, other vendors, insurance, etc – have been incredibly supportive. That has helped reaffirm my belief that people are inherently good.

    I have definitely learned a lot throughout this experience. It has made me re-examine my daily routines – such as where I walk my dog at night, where I park my car when walking to restaurants/concerts/bars in the city, and the most obvious one – not using ATMs at night.

    I promise to keep you all updated and hope to share more information at that time.

    Thank you,