Crime

He was drilling into a bank teller drawer when a Tri-Cities janitor foiled his break-in

A Kennewick bank burglar allegedly tried to use a drill to open a teller’s drawer after he failed to get into the bank vault.

Oscar Garcia III, 25, was charged Friday with first-degree burglary for the late-night incident at Bank of America.

According to Kennewick police and Benton County prosecutors, a janitor was cleaning the 3420 W. Kennewick Ave. building at 10:20 p.m. Tuesday when he was surprised to hear someone else in the closed bank.

The janitor, who was in an office, ducked into a safe spot and called 911 for help.

Officers arrived to find Garcia using a drill on a cash drawer, court documents said.

The janitor said Garcia first tried getting into the vault area, documents said.

KPD Bank
Kennewick police caught a burglar inside of a Bank of America with the help of a janitor shortly after 10 p.m. Oct. 29. Kennewick police

When he was arrested, Garcia was armed with a loaded Smith & Wesson 9mm, said documents.

The bank manager came to the scene and confirmed Garcia did not have authorization to be in the bank after hours, court documents said.

The manager said the damage to the cashier desk and drawer and to the ceiling above the vault had not been there before Garcia came inside, documents said.

Garcia is scheduled to enter a plea Monday in Benton County Superior Court. He remains in the jail on $15,000 bail.

Kristin M. Kraemer covers the judicial system and crime issues for the Tri-City Herald. She has been a journalist for more than 20 years in Washington and California.
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