Two armed bank robbery suspects in custody; two remain at large

SHEILA A. MATHEWS :::

A high speed chase resulted in the apprehension of two men in connection with the Friday afternoon armed robbery of the Griffin branch of Regions Bank located at 327 W. Taylor St.

Officers of the Griffin Police Department Uniform were dispatched to a report of an armed robbery at the bank at 1342, and the first officer arrived on scene one minute later.

GPD Public Information Officer Lt. Daniel Jett said the incident took place in the bank’s parking lot.

“Three black males pulled up in a vehicle and a Brinks truck was doing a refill on the ATM. They got out of the vehicle with a shotgun, and the Brinks truck driver retreated,” Jett said.

He explained that automatic teller machines contain individual containers – canisters or drawers – with different denominations of currency.

“They took one of them and then they fled the scene,” Jett said. “That’s when the county (Sheriff’s Office) spotted them and a chase ensued.”

Spalding County Sheriff Darrell Dix said the pursuit and search for the suspects ultimately involved more than a half dozen law enforcement agencies.

“In the pursuit, one of my units got behind them on Arthur K. Bolton Parkway. I called (Butts County) Sheriff Gary Long and they responded, but were not able to get to 75 before the guy turned northbound. My deputy stayed behind the car and was trying to keep up with them. The bad guy car was in excess of 120 miles per hour. As they continued northbound, the Henry County P.D. and Henry County S.O. became involved in the pursuit, but they lost contact with the vehicle somewhere around the 218 exit,” Dix said. “A McDonough P.D. unit found the (suspect) vehicle in the area adjacent to O.B.’s Barbecue, and the suspects fled from the vehicle. The Henry County P.D. and S.O. set up a perimeter, and we had STAR flying over the area. Two of the suspects were immediately taken into custody.”

Dix said the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office K9 unit arrived at the same time as the K9 unit dispatched by Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill.

The Clayton County K9 unit located a third individual, but according to Jett, a GPD detective ruled him out, determining he was uninvolved in the armed robbery.

With two in custody, Jett said the third suspect from the bank robbery and a fourth individual are still being sought.

“There were three that did the robbery and a fourth that drove a getaway vehicle. The original robbery took place in one vehicle. They drove about two blocks away to where a second vehicle with a driver was waiting, so there were two vehicles and four suspects involved,” he said, adding that this is preliminary information as the investigation is active and developing. “My detectives are still interviewing people and reviewing video from local businesses, plus we’re trying to review video in Henry County.”

Authorities do not yet have an estimate on the amount stolen in the incident.

“We’re still waiting on Brinks and Regions Bank to give us the exact amount,” Jett said.

The two suspects apprehended in McDonough have been transported to the Griffin Police Department for questioning.

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