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Alleged Van Nuys robbers lead officers on car chase with two children in back seat

November 30, 2009 |  7:46 pm

A Van Nuys couple who allegedly robbed a restaurant this morning led officers on a high-speed chase as their two children rode in the back seat of the getaway car, police said.

The chase began about 3 a.m. when two California Highway Patrol officers arrived at an International House of Pancakes restaurant at 15635 Ventura Blvd. in Encino. An employee alerted the officers that a suspect with a ski mask was inside and had pointed a handgun at co-workers, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.Chase began here.

The suspect left the restaurant, saw the officers and got into a black Nissan Maxima, which had a female driver. The car sped away with the officers in pursuit, the LAPD said.

The officers used a "pursuit intervention technique" to stop the car and arrested the couple. At that point, officers realized that two children, ages 4 and 6, were in the back seat, according to the LAPD.

Police identified the couple as William Farag and Nadia Redoble, both 28.

An investigation linked the pair to other robberies that had been committed minutes before the pancake house robbery -- one at a Rite Aid in Sherman Oaks, the other at an CVS in Encino, the LAPD said.

Farag and Redoble were booked on suspicion of robbery. Investigators will also ask that the couple be charged with child endangerment, police said. The children were placed in protective custody.

-- Robert J. Lopez