Bank robber underestimates security guard's resolve

SPOKANE - Spokane police are crediting a private security guard with stopping a downtown bank robbery and detaining the suspect until officers arrived.

Joe Marchese doesn't like crime any more than the rest of us and so on Tuesday when a robber decided to steal from the Sterling Savings Bank branch that Marchese was guarding he stopped that bandit in his tracks.

?I was just kind of standing there observing and the individual turned around and walked towards me and my intuition told me something wasn't right,? Marchese, a guard for Guardsmark Security said.

Tuesday morning after a man used a note to rob his bank a teller signaled Marchese what had happened and the guard cut off the suspect before he could reach the front door.

?I ordered the individual to stop. He didn't stop so I pursued him out the door. Again I ordered him to stop. I did not feel threatened at this point so I told him I need to speak to him right now, you've been accused of robbing the bank, I need to bring you inside, so we can figure out what to do and I am calling the police,? Marchese said.

Marchese then detained the man, later identified as David Thometz, until police officers arrived about a minute later.

Thometz made the news back in 2008 when he set his Spokane Valley house on fire, telling investigators later that a voice in his head told him to start the fire.

?It is true, a lot of have had some background some don't realize and when we get a chance to use those skills it helps,? Marchese said.

And what about that background that helped him defuse a potentially explosive situation. It turns out that Joe Marchese is also a former Reserve Sheriff?s Deputy.

While It?s not clear what brought Thometz to Sterling Savings Tuesday morning but one this is for sure: He clearly underestimated Marchese's background.