Bank Robbery Suspects Toss Cash During Chase, Crowds Form in South L.A. (VIDEO)
@e_espinosa / Elizabeth Espinosa of KTLA News
Another day, another crazy chase.
This one had suspects in a Volvo SUV throwing cash out a window. That move apparently drew crowds to the South Los Angeles area near USC where the chase was going around in circles until it came to a stop and alleged bad guys were apprehended.
That happened ...
... shortly before 11:20 a.m. at Vernon and Kansas avenues near Vermont Avenue.
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The pursuit appeared to end with the SUV hitting traffic and having nowhere to go. Deputies pulled the suspects out safely at gunpoint.
But then crowds, apparently drawn by the cash, gathered, prompting LAPD officers to rush the area in an attempt at crowd control.
Crowds seemed to be dispersing, according to KTLA News.
@KTLANews / KTLA News
The pursuit started in Santa Clarita following the robbery of a Bank of America there. One or two suspects ended up in a foot pursuit with cops in Sylmar, but the chase continued south into L.A.
[Added at 11:58 a.m.]: KTLA News says those two suspects allegedly involved in the case got away in Sylmar.
City News Service has some of the earlier play-by-play:
The chase began shortly after 10 a.m., when at least four suspects
robbed the bank branch in the 18000 block of Soledad Canyon Road in the Santa
... Sheriff's Capt. Mike Parker told KCAL9 that two suspects jumped out of the vehicle when it stopped on Yarnell Street in Sylmar, and another jumped out on nearby Hubbard Street. Those suspects remained at large, and sheriff's deputies set up a large containment area as they swept through the area.
The chase continued on the eastbound Foothill (210) Freeway and eventually onto the southbound Pasadena (110) Freeway and onto Third Street and Alvarado Street in downtown Los Angeles shortly before 11 a.m.
[Added at 12:06 p.m.]: It was the third major pursuit in as many days in the L.A. area (see below).
There were some reports that people gathered at the scene in an attempt to actually swarm the SUV and grab cash, but LAPD Commander Bob Green told reporters at the scene that he believes folks were just after the money that had already been tossed.
He said a gun and knife appeared to be in the vehicle.
Deputies leading the chase issued an officer-needs-help call as it ended and people started to surround the cops, the commander said.
He urged bystanders who scooped up money to turn it into the LAPD's 77th Street Division station.
[Updated at 12:14 p.m.]: A reporter for KCAL9 / CBS Los Angeles said rocks were thrown at his personal car as he waited a nearby intersection for cops with sirens blaring to roll through. He thought folks were in a rush to search for money.
KCAL9 says money was thrown from the vehicle several times, perhaps at as many as a dozen locations.
One man being taken away on a stretcher at the scene might have been hit by a patrol car, the station says.
[Update at 12:26 p.m.]: NBC Los Angeles reports that an officer might have had his foot run over by a patrol car and was being treated.
KCAL9 indicates at least two people in the crowd were detained or arrested.
City News Service says that people ran after and pounded on the patrol car that took pursuit suspects from the scene.
[Update at 12:38 p.m.]: LAPD Commander Andrew Smith told KCAL9 that he believes people were indeed gunning for cash inside the SUV:
— NBC Los Angeles (@NBCLA) September 13, 2012
They wanted to rush over and see if there was any more money inside of that car.
He also said that the vehicle was taking advantage of people gathering and blocking police in the streets, but that the suspects became victims of their own strategy as the pandemonium resulted in a clogged intersection that brought the chase to an end.
Two injuries were indeed reported: A bystander hit by a patrol car and an officer who had a foot run over by a patrol car, according to KCAL.
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