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Ex-EvCC runner charged with kidnapping, robbery

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By Diana Hefley
Herald Writer
EVERETT -- A former Everett Community College runner accused of robbing an Everett bank allegedly spent the heist money on strippers and a used car.
Investigators say they also found a plane ticket to Puerto Rico in one of the locations where Bereket Million Piatt had been hiding after the Jan. 23 bank robbery. Piatt, 20, reportedly told friends he kidnapped a girl, robbed a bank and intended to flee the country. He was arrested about a week later in Tacoma.
Prosecutors on Friday charged Piatt with first-degree kidnapping and robbery. He was being held on $250,000 bail.
Prosecutors allege that Piatt was armed and threatened to kill two people during the crime spree.
A 16-year-old girl told detectives she was walking toward her car near EvCC campus when Piatt pointed a gun at her, demanding she drive him around the streets of north Everett.
He then ordered her to park near a bank on Broadway. Piatt allegedly threatened to kill her if she drove off.
Piatt reportedly then walked into the bank and handed the teller a note, demanding $9,000. The note also contained a threat on the teller's life. The robber ordered the teller to turn over his driver's license.
Piatt returned to the teenage girl's car and ordered her to drive away. He threatened to track the girl down and kill her before he got out of the car near Providence Medical Center Everett, Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Chris Dickinson wrote in court papers.
The girl was frightened by the gunman's threats and didn't report the incident to police until the next day.
Police eventually released images of the dreadlocked robber captured on the bank's surveillance cameras. Tips poured in from members of the college community who identified the robber as Piatt.
Friends and associates later told detectives that Piatt had admitted to them that he'd forced a girl to drive him to a bank he robbed, Dickinson wrote.
His friends told police Piatt immediately began spending the stolen money at a Seattle strip club and on a used car.
Piatt also allegedly told friends that he planned to flee the country. Investigators found a plane ticket to Puerto Rico. They also found various items for making disguises and a dreadlock wig.
In November 2011, Piatt won a Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges cross-country championship and helped EvCC claim the team title. He attended EvCC for one more quarter, but didn't enroll this fall.
Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463;
Story tags » EverettProsecutionEverett Community CollegeRobbery

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