The "Hollywood" Bank Robberies

In 1977, 22 year-old Scott Scurlock was fired from a landscaping company in Hawaii for growing marijuana on their property. He decided to move to Olympia, and in 1978, enrolled at Evergreen State College. He studied organic chemistry and biochemistry and learned how to make drugs. 

He eventually rented a farmhouse on 19 acres at 1506 Overhulse Road NW in Olympia, near the college. There was a large barn on the property, which was the perfect place for him to manufacture crystal meth. In the early 80's, he started building a fort between seven cedar trees on the back of the property, using materials he stole from nearby lumberyards. Within fifteen months, Scott and friends had constructed a 1,500 square-foot tree house. Although it never had a building permit, it was three stories high and stood 60 feet off the ground with an awesome view of Mount Rainier.
The Tree House
The house had 30 windows, electricity, plumbing, a full kitchen, a working bathroom, and a fireplace. When the farm was put up for sale in 1990, Scott used his drug profits to purchase the property. That year, his main meth distributor was murdered, and he realized just how violent the drug business was. He stopped manufacturing meth, but needed another source of easy money to support his extravagant lifestyle. He wasn't about to get a 9 to 5 job. The drug money he had would only last him another year, so he decided robbing a bank would be the perfect answer. He chose a close friend, Mark Biggins to be his backup inside the bank. The getaway driver would be Mark's girlfriend, Traci Marsh. The gang pulled off the robbery on Thursday, June 25, 1992 in Seattle. It was the Seafirst Bank (All Seafirst Banks are now Bank of America) at 4112 E Madison Street in the Madison Park neighborhood. (The wealthiest but most boring neighborhood in Seattle)
Madison Park Seafirst
Scott disguised himself with a false nose and heavy makeup and Mark wore a plastic Ronald Reagan mask. The robbery was a success, no one got hurt, and the trio returned to Olympia with $19,971. Mark was paranoid about what they'd done so he fled to Montana with his girlfriend. Scott thoroughly enjoyed the thrill of the heist, and decided to make robbing banks his new profession. On Friday, August 14, 1992, he went by himself to the same Seafirst Bank in Madison Park and stole $8,124. Over the next three months, Scott robbed four more banks in Seattle, then stopped. His last heist of 1992 was on Thursday, November 19th at the Hawthorn Hills Seafirst at 4020 NE 55th Street, which netted $252,000. (it's now Hawthorn Hills Vet) By now, the police and FBI were familiar with Scott's disguises and style from watching surveillance camera footage.
Former Hawthorn Hills Seafirst
They dubbed him “Hollywood.” By the end of 1993, Scott had spent almost all of the $322,870 he had stolen in 1992. He decided to get back into the game and enlisted a childhood friend, Steve Meyers to help him. He chose the Hawthorn Hills Seafirst again. Scott and Steve watched the bank for several days, then on Wednesday, November 24, 1993, the day before Thanksgiving, they made their move. Scott went inside while Steve stayed in his vehicle with a portable two-way radio, monitoring police frequencies on a scanner. The robbery went off without a hitch, but this time they only got $98,571. Scott buried all the money on his property, except for $5,000 which he gave to Steve for his participation. (How generous) The duo robbed five banks in 1994, three in Seattle and two in Portland, stealing a total of $263,599. In January 1995, they hit two banks. Scott stole $11,924 on January 18th from the Wallingford branch of First Interstate Bank (all FI's are now Wells Fargo) at 1701 N. 45th St. 
 Wallingford First Interstate
A dye pack exploded, coloring the money red, and he had to abandon it. Unfazed, he went back to the Madison Park Seafirst on January 27th. (I guaranty this is the most excitement that neighborhood has ever seen) He got away with $252,466. The money only lasted a year. The Puget Sound Violent Crimes Task Force made catching Hollywood their top priority. Aside from the money, they were worried he would kill someone. They calculated that he was spending $20,000 a month, and determined approximately when he would need more cash. The task force camped outside Hollywood’s favorite banks in the neighborhood's where he'd made the biggest scores. For the next robbery, Scott enlisted the help of both Steve Meyers, who would be the outside lookout, and Mark Biggins, who had moved back to Puget Sound. Mark would assist inside the bank with crowd control. On January 25, 1996, they robbed the Wedgwood branch of First Interstate at 8517 35th Avenue NE and made off with $141,405.
Wedgwood First Interstate
At the end of May, they hit the Madison Park branch of First Interstate at 4009 E Madison Street for $114,978. You'd think that was enough to satisfy Scott's lust for adventure, but no. He decided to rob three banks in one day and go out with one last big score. (isn't that always the plan?) He targeted Seafirst branches in the Lake City, Green Lake, and University District neighborhoods.
Madison Park First Interstate
He changed his mind at the last minute and decided to rob only the Lake City branch. On Wednesday, November 27, 1996, Scott and Mark entered the Seafirst Bank at 2800 NE 125th Street, twenty minutes before closing time. Steve was in the getaway car. The minute they walked through the door, one of the tellers saw what was about to happen and hit the silent-alarm button.
Lake City Seafirst
The robbers forced everyone to lie down on the floor, and while Mark held them at gun point, Scott entered the vault with the head teller and stuffed bricks of money into a duffel bag. The two were out of the bank in four minutes and calmly walked down the street. A customer followed them to a blue Dodge Caravan and called 911. Although the task force had dozens of police officers on alert for a robbery, Lake City had never been hit, and all the cars were patrolling in the wrong neighborhoods. Due to severe weather and holiday traffic, the bank robbers were slow to leave the area. Even though they switched from the getaway car to a white Chevy Astro Van, it wasn’t long before three task-force members, acting primarily on instinct, began tailing them. While Scott drove south, Steve and Mark rummaged through the money, looking for tracking devices. Noticing the three unmarked cars behind him, Scott didn’t wait to be pulled over. He stopped the van on 24th Avenue NE in the Ravenna neighborhood. He jumped out with a 12-gauge shotgun and pointed it at the officers, but the gun jammed. The officers fired several shots at the van, but Scott managed to speed away. After a few more blocks, the van stopped and Steve exited the side door with a shotgun and opened fire. The officers returned fire but once again the van sped away. Two blocks later, someone inside the van broke out the right rear window and began firing an assault rifle. Scott shut off the headlights, bailed out of the van as it was still moving and fled on foot. The van rolled through a front yard and struck a house at NE 77th Street and NE 20th Ave.
House hit at NE 77th and 20th
Inside the van, the officers found Mark and Steve, who had both been seriously wounded. They also found two 12-gauge shotguns, a U.S. military .308 caliber M-14 semiautomatic rifle, two 9mm semiautomatic pistols, three Motorola two-way radios, a police scanner, and 1.8 million in cash. Medic One transported both suspects to Harborview Medical Center for treatment of non-life-threatening gunshot wounds. During questioning, Steve and Mark sang like a canaries. Meanwhile, SPD established a six-block perimeter around the area where Hollywood escaped and was thought to be hiding. Police officers went door-to-door trying to determine if anyone was being held hostage or had seen anything unusual. K-9 units began searching for the fugitive, who was known to be armed with a 9-mm pistol. They searched all night in the pouring rain without success. At 2:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, November 28, 1996, Rob and Ron Walker were visiting their mother, Wilma for dinner. Her house at 7518 20th Avenue NE, wasn't even a block from where the van had crashed. Ron had a 10-foot camper stored in Wilma’s back yard, about 40 feet from the house.
7518 29th Ave NE
The two brothers heard about the hunt for the fugitive and the $50,000 reward and decided to scout around the property. The Police had visited Wilma and searched her back yard, but not the camper. She asked the boys to check it out. The camper door was still secured on the outside with a cable and padlock, but there was a small covered hatch at the front of the camper through which a lean person could gain access.
Back of house where camper was
The Walker brothers became suspicious when they noticed the camper door had been locked from the inside and the curtains drawn. Rob attempted to push open the hatch door but it wouldn’t budge. Ron fetched a stepladder, peered through a small window, and saw someone sleeping inside. Rob watched the camper while Ron called 911. Within minutes, several police cars arrived and officers surrounded the camper. They tried to get a response from the person inside, but were unsuccessful. Then, cops pried a louvered window open and emptied two cans of pepper spray inside. Nobody came out of the camper. When they attempted to unlock the door, they heard a single gunshot and dove for cover. Officers responded by firing over 30 rounds at the camper. After all this, cops cordoned off a five-block area, and began evacuating nearby homes. An armored vehicle was brought in and positioned near the camper in preparation for an assault. Hostage negotiators attempted repeatedly to contact the person inside. At 6pm, tear-gas was fired into the camper but still, there was no response. After 20 minutes, more tear-gas was fired. At 7:40, officers in gas masks approached the camper, and opened the door. They found a man lying dead on the floor in the kitchenette, with a 9-mm pistol and one empty shell casing next to his body. He had killed himself. He'd also suffered six more gunshot wounds from the officer's guns, but they were all postmortem. Based on information from Steve Meyers, the FBI served a search warrant on Scott's houses and property in Olympia. They discovered a cache of weapons, which included handguns, a silencer, several rifles, two sawed-off shotguns, and a large amount of ammunition. They also seized over $20,000 in cash, passports, airline tickets, police scanners, and portable two-way radios. Hidden under the floor in the barn, they found a secret room where Scott applied his makeup, stored his disguises, and counted the loot. On Thursday, February 27, 1997 Steve Meyers, 47 and Mark Biggins, 43, plead guilty in federal court to one count of conspiracy, one count of armed bank robbery, two counts of assault on a federal officer, and one count of use of a firearm in commission of a felony. On Thursday, May 15th, both defendants were sentences to 21 years and three months in prison, plus an additional five years of supervised release. Steve Meyers is an inmate at the Forest City Federal Correctional Institution in Forest City, Arkansas. His release date is July 1, 2015. Mark Biggins is an inmate at the Englewood Federal Correctional Institution in Littleton, Colorado. His release date is June 3, 2015. The number of robberies and the amounts stolen, almost 2.3 million, make Scott Scurlock one of the most prolific bank robbers in the history of the United States.