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Gun, knife found in robbery suspects' car in South L.A., police say

September 12, 2012 |  1:21 pm

Authorities said they had recovered a gun, knife and money bags from the Volvo SUV used in Wednesday morning's bank robbery that ended with suspects being apprehended after throwing cash out the window as they drove through South Los Angeles.

At least five people were involved in the robbery, but two bailed out of the car in the Sylmar area after they held held up a Bank of America branch in the 19000 block of Soledad Canyon Road in Santa Clarita, officials said.

At least one person possibly involved in the robbery was later detained in Sylmar, officials said.

PHOTOS: Bank robbery suspects toss money during chase

The car was reported stolen Wednesday morning from South Los Angeles.

Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies quickly located the suspects after the bank robbery, which occurred shortly after 10 a.m., leading to a chase that traversed freeways and surface streets between Santa Clarita and Los Angeles. 

While in South L.A., the suspects threw cash out the window at about a dozen locations before finally stopping near the corner of Kansas and Vernon avenues.

It was not immediately clear whether the suspects were hurling the money out of their vehicle in an attempt to divert deputies chasing them or as a Robin Hood-like gesture to simply give the money away.

Dozens of officers, including many from the Los Angeles Police Department, were called in to the intersection to control the crowds -- estimated at 200 by police -- gathered around  cruisers where the chase ended.

“It’s a true blessing if no one was seriously hurt. They [the deputies] didn’t know what was going to happen,” said Sheriff’s Capt Mike Parker. “They were in the middle of very stressful and dynamic situation at the end of a very dangerous high-speed pursuit.

"They came within feet of hitting dozens of pedestrians who were running into the street in an apparent attempt to get money that the suspects were throwing out the vehicle," Parker continued. "Ironically, their apparent tactic of throwing cash out the window to distract us or to draw out members of the public appears to be their undoing. It caused a pedestrian and vehicle traffic jam that stopped them in the street and allowed sheriff’s deputies to quickly take them into custody.”


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-- Andrew Blankstein and Jason Song