Suspected bank robber caught across the highway

Oak Harbor police caught a suspected bank robber who wasn’t in a hurry to get away from the scene of the crime Friday.

Officers arrested Joshua P. Freeman, a 32-year-old Oak Harbor resident, as he was allegedly rifling through a backpack full of stolen money across the highway from the Whidbey Island Bank, according to police reports.

A judge found probable cause to hold Freeman on suspicion of first-degree robbery that same day. His bail was set at $100,000.

An employee at Whidbey Island Bank on Bayshore Drive called 911 at 10:30 a.m. to report that a masked man had walked into the bank with a bag and demanded money.

The robber, later identified as Freeman, according to police, walked in quickly with a mask on and told two tellers to give him hundreds, fifties and twenties; he didn’t display a weapon and none was found on him, the police report said.

Freeman allegedly left the bank with $5,900 in his bag, saying he was sorry on the way out.

The first officer to arrive saw Freeman walking east along State Highway 20, then go behind a condominium complex before crossing the street to kneel next to a pillar near the former WhidBerry business, the report states.

The police officer asked one of the victims to come out of the bank and look across the street at Freeman. The woman identified him as the suspected robber.

Freeman was still kneeling behind the pillar, digging into the backpack when the two officers walked up to him. Next to the backpack was a black bag and an empty $2,000 bill wrapper.

Freeman was taken into custody.

Freeman allegedly admitted to robbing the bank, according to the report.

Freeman reportedly said he and his girlfriend were sick from heroin withdrawal. He said he couldn’t take it anymore and decided to rob a bank, explaining that it was something he had thought about doing before, the report states.

The mask worn by the bank robber appeared to be a shirt with holes cut out for the eyes and mouth, the officer wrote.

Freeman rode a bus to get to the bank, the report said.

“Freeman states he was going to use the money to get well by buying heroin,” the report said. “Freeman states he had been going through withdrawal for the last two days.”