Bank employees call in suspicious BMW linked to two recent robberies

Washington County sheriff's deputies arrested a man believed to be linked to two bank robberies in Washington County.

He was reportedly captured Saturday as he was preparing to commit a third SUBMITTED PHOTO: WCSO - Bradley Houtman

At about 11:11 a.m. on Friday, deputies were called to the Umpqua Bank, 7365 N.W. Barnes Road, in West Haven on a report of a suspicious person. Bank employees reported a black BMW driven by a man wearing a mask and gloves. The vehicle had circled the parking lot a few times, then would speed away.

They said the vehicle matched one used in a Dec. 6, 2012 robbery of their bank, said Sgt. Bob Ray, sheriff's office spokesman. During that robbery, an assault rifle was displayed.

"Multiple sheriff's deputies converged to the area, but they were unable to locate the vehicle," Ray said. "Investigators were becoming concerned as the bank robber seemed to become more brazen, and they were fearful for the safety of the bank employees and other citizens."

On Saturday at about 9:39 a.m., deputies were called to the Chase Bank located at 7515 N.W. Barnes Road concerning a suspicious person.

Chase Bank employees reported seeing a black BMW — matching the description from the Umpqua Bank incident the day before — drive into their parking lot. This is also the type of vehicle that was used to flee a robbery at the Chase Bank on Oct. 11, 2012. No weapon was displayed during the October robbery.

The two banks are located across the street from each other in the same business complex on Northwest Barnes Road.

Multiple sheriff's deputies responded to the scene to locate the BMW. A Traffic Safety Team deputy riding a motorcycle spotted the BMW on Barnes Road as it sped down 84th Avenue in an apparent attempt to avoid apprehension, Ray said.

The BMW stopped as it reached a dead-end road. The driver, Bradley Houtman, 25, was detained without incident.

"Sheriff's deputies found a significant amount of evidence, including an assault rifle inside the vehicle," Ray added.

Washington County violent crimes detectives were called in to assist with the investigation.

"Detectives believe Mr. Houtman is the person responsible for the October and December 2012 bank robberies," Ray said. "They also believe Mr. Houtman was preparing to commit a third bank robbery.

"Detectives believe Mr. Houtman would place a stolen Oregon license plate on his vehicle, rob the banks, and then remove the license plate."

Houtman, who is originally from Minnesota, has been living in an apartment on Northwest Miller Road that is close to the banks that were recently robbed.

Houtman was lodged in the Washington County Jail on federal bank robbery charges.He is being held without bail.

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