High speed chase of bank robbery suspects winds through metro - KCTV5

High speed chase of bank robbery suspects winds through metro

Posted: Updated:
Bill Lindsay/KCTV5 Bill Lindsay/KCTV5

Thanks to a brave UPS driver, police say they now have two suspects in custody who were wanted in multiple bank robberies.

Police say the two men are now in custody thanks to the help of a daring UPS truck driver. The driver forced the suspect to pull to the side of the interstate, blocking the driver's route.

"They couldn't get around him because of the narrowness using our trailer we were able to get in front of him and block him and surround him," said UPS driver Pete Gonzales. "We knew we could get in front of him with the truck and they could get him stopped. We had a 80-ton truck compared to a car. There was no contest."

The 30-minute chase began in Leavenworth County with a call on a bank robbery.

Two men robbed a bank at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday.

The two suspects entered the Country Club Bank at 2310 S. Fourth St. in Leavenworth.

They were armed with weapons, demanded money, and then got into one vehicle and fled, police said.

No one was hurt during the robbery, but one female employee was taken by ambulance to the hospital for precautionary reasons as she is pregnant, police said.

According to police, the two suspects switched vehicles several blocks away and fled again.

Lansing police officers spotted the vehicle and tried to get the driver to stop. When the driver refused, the pursuit began, Lansing police said. Other agencies, including Kansas Highway Patrol, joined the chase.

Police Chief Steve Wayman told KCTV5.com that officers had been told to be on the look out for an orange Dodge vehicle in which the occupants were believed to have been involved in a bank robbery in Leavenworth. The vehicle was spotted within five minutes driving the speed limit in Lansing.

"An officer observed a vehicle matching the description heading south on Main Street in Lansing. Officers attempted to initiate a traffic stop. The vehicle initially started to pull over but then accelerated," he said.

The vehicle then went south on U.S. 73 into Bonner Springs and then eastbound on I-70.

At times, speeds reached 105 mph and five agencies tried to lay down stop sticks.

By the time the car made it into the Kansas City limits around 11 a.m., police had slowed down the car with stop sticks.

But the suspects continued to try and flee on nothing but rims.

Gonzales noticed what was going on behind him and blocked the path of the burnt orange Dodge Charger.

"My guy stayed with it until the vehicle was stopped," Wayman said.

The police chief said it was, "an excellent example of law enforcement agencies throughout the area working together to apprehend the suspected bank robbers." He also praised dispatchers for getting the information out to officers quickly.

"Timing was everything today. All the officers involved did great. And we have two people in custody," Wayman said. "And we had a good outcome. No one was injured. I am really glad no one got hurt."

Kansas City Police Capt. James Thomas praised the Lansing police and the UPS driver.

"Lansing police did a wonderful job broadcasting to other agencies about the suspect's vehicle," Thomas said.

Police typically ask citizens to let officers take the lead but said in this case the UPS employees' actions, "turned out to be for the best," Thomas said.

The two men are suspected in other area bank robberies. Charges are expected to be filed in the coming days.

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