Man accused of stealing from restaurant wall

Customers donate iconic bills, which are provided to charity every five years

PORT TOWNSEND — A man suspected of stealing dollar bills from the wall of a restaurant was arrested a short time later at a nearby marijuana shop.

Jordan Durkin, a 35-year-old transient, was arrested on suspicion of third-degree theft and possession of a stolen firearm on Nov. 19 after witnesses said they saw him pull money from the walls of Fat Smitty’s restaurant along U.S. Highway 101 near Port Townsend.

Durkin first appeared in Jefferson County Superior Court on Nov. 21 and an arraignment date has been set for Friday. He was being held Monday in the Jefferson County Jail with bail set at $5,000.

Witnesses reported Durkin to a State Patrol trooper, who contacted the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office about 11:45 a.m. Nov. 19, according to the probable cause statement.

Deputies made contact with Durkin near Discovery Bay Cannabis shop where he immediately became argumentative, saying that he had only taken sugar for his coffee, according to the report.

An employee at the cannabis shop told deputies that Durkin had purchased an item with cash that had drawings on it, distinctive of those hung from the wall at Fat Smitty’s. The employee was unable to show the cash to the deputies, however, because the money had been used as change for another customer.

When he was arrested, Durkin told deputies he had a firearm, and a check on the firearm determined it had been stolen, according to the probable cause statement.

The theft of the firearm had been caught on film and Durkin was wearing the same clothes as he had during the theft, the statement said.

“It was a pretty brazen act,” said Casey Carson, owner of Fat Smitty’s.

“It happened during lunch so it was pretty busy in here. He only walked out with $2 to $3, but still really bold,” Carson said.

The dollars on the wall have been a staple feature of the restaurant for more than 25 years. Patrons draw on the dollars and they are hung up on the wall. Every five years, the dollars come down and are donated to charity.

In January, the restaurant donated $25,000 to the Navy-Marine Corp Relief Society, which offers financial and educational assistance to military veterans.

Both Carson and the original Fat Smitty, Carl Schmidt, were military veterans.

Schmidt died in 2018, and January was the first time the restaurant made a donation without him.

Carson said Fat Smitty’s has donated a total of more than $60,000 to a variety of charities.

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Reporter Ken Park can be reached by email at kpark@peninsuladailynews.com.