Police chase leads to chaos - East Valley Tribune: Tempe

Police chase leads to chaos

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Posted: Saturday, April 29, 2006 6:17 am | Updated: 3:36 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

An Ahwatukee Foothills neighborhood was thrown into chaos Friday when a pursuit of bank robbers from Tempe ended with the suspects vaulting backyard walls and running through alleys to evade police.

Authorities said three suspects were arrested, while a fourth escaped.

The manhunt resulted in a cordon of the neighborhood southwest of 46th Street and Warner Road, including a lockdown of Mountain Pointe High School. Police units from Tempe, Phoenix and the FBI assisted.

“They haven’t told me a thing,” said neighborhood resident John Hoag, 77, after the chase continued for more than an hour. “And they wouldn’t let me go to my home.”

Nobody was hurt in the robbery or the chase, and no gunshots were fired. Their names weren’t released.

Tempe Sgt. Dan Masters said the Wells Fargo branch at McClintock and Warner roads was held up around 9:55 a.m. by armed robbers wearing masks and gardening gloves.

The robbers took an undisclosed amount of money and then fled down Warner in a blue or gray Chrysler Town & Country van with Nevada license plates.

Police tried to stop the vehicle, and the driver led police on a chase. Masters said the vehicle ran several red lights, then turned into a neighborhood.

There, the culprits scattered. While police quickly apprehended a female driver, a man was seen forcing his way into a home. A woman inside the house fled.

The house was surrounded, and police and K-9 units entered to find it empty. About 11:30 a.m., police arrested a man hiding under a couch in an alley behind the home.

Around the same time, a third person was caught at a nearby apartment complex.

The fourth person is believed to have slipped through the police perimeter by running across a golf course, Masters said.

Later, police recovered stolen cash and at least one set of clothing linked to the crime, Masters said.

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