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Police capture four suspects in robbery of credit union



Published: Tue, February 5, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



A handgun also was recovered.

WARREN -- Four bank robbery suspects were expected to be arraigned today after being caught in a 45-minute chase through a Howland neighborhood.

"People said the suspects were running through their back yards," said Ernie Cook, chief deputy at the Trumbull County Sheriff's Department.

Trumbull County 911 dispatchers asked Howland Springs Elementary School to lock down before the last two men were caught hiding under a porch of a Warwick Street home Monday morning.

The men, suspected of robbing a Hubbard credit union at gunpoint, were interrogated by deputies. One gave a false name, Cook said.

Robbery target: Authorities say some of the men entered Seven Seventeen Credit Union, 6813 Commerce Drive, with two guns about 9:20 a.m., shortly after it opened.

They fled in a blue Lincoln Town Car before Hubbard Township police arrived.

Two minutes after the robbery was reported to the 911 center, a sheriff's deputy heading east on state Route 82 in Vienna Township saw the car going west.

With lights and sirens on, the deputy pulled across in the median strip and chased after the car as it wove through traffic, reports say. The car turned south on Howland Wilson Road to avoid a Howland patrol car in the westbound lane of state Route 82.

After the blue Lincoln turned west on Huntley Avenue, it slowed down and all four doors opened, reports say. Three men dived from the car, while the driver wrestled to keep the car from hitting a telephone pole.

Captured: A sheriff's deputy arrested the driver before he could leave the car, reports say.

A Howland officer arrived moments later and nabbed another suspect as he ran, said Steve Lamantia, Howland chief.

Several off-duty officers and the Howland department's police dog joined the chase, Lamantia said. Two officers who live in the area brought their off-road vehicles to help look for the suspects in the snow.

The last two suspects were captured shortly after 10 a.m., reports say.

"It was a lot of pretty good police work," said Hubbard Township Detective Mike Begeot.

Howland's police dog found a handgun that had been hidden in the snow, Lamantia said.

Cook said no money has been recovered. It wasn't clear Monday if the suspects even got any money.




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