By: Elizabeth Hur
LOWER MERION, Pa., (CBS) – A Main Line manhunt that forced Villanova University into lockdown – ended with three suspects under arrest.
The suspects led police on a pursuit after holding up the National Penn Bank on High Street in Lower Pottsgrove.
“We’re not used to seeing police with their shotguns out and helicopters all over the place,” David Beifeld of Lower Merion said.
The all-out search for suspected bank robbers, considered armed and dangerous, left residents cautious but confident.
Chuck Myers said, “That was a little nerve wracking when I saw that.”
David Beifeld added, “The police? I want them to do their jobs. If my kids are safe in the house and that’s what they’re telling me, that’s wonderful.”
Fred Savitz said, “I feel totally comfortable knowing they got things under control.”
For hours, streets were closed and traffic slowed near the areas along Montgomery Avenue and Greenwood Court. Police say that’s where the suspects abandoned their vehicle and took off running. The chase began shortly before 3 p.m. in Lower Pottsgrove, continued through Upper Merion and ended in Lower Merion.
Sgt. Tim Walters of Lower Pottsgrove Police Department said, “Very alert off-duty police officer was going into work and his alert judgment picked up on this, heard the broadcast when it was sent out by Montgomery county radio: Two subjects entered the bank, armed with handguns. They got money out of the bank and also got money from an incoming patron who was there making a deposit,” Walters went onto explain, “He was coming down Route 422 close to Route 76, notified the county that he had a pretty good idea these might be our actors involved. As a result of that the ensuing agencies got involved, state police got involved.”
Josh Wada of Villanova said, “Right as we were getting into the front yard, they just told us to get back in and lock our doors.”
Hayley Wada of Villanova added, “They were picking up coins and other money that had been dropped in the neighbor’s house.”
By around 7 p.m., the search was over. Police confirmed they arrested three suspects and seized the alleged getaway car. Early on, police did tell us a fourth person may have been involved but that appears to have been a false alarm.
Walters explained, “We’re not sure about that, unconfirmed reports said there might have been a fourth person but we have no credible evidence at this time.”
Authorities say Lower Pottsgrove police worked with Upper Merion Police Department, Lower Merion Police Department and Radnor Police Department as well as the Pennsylvania State Police to capture their suspects. We are told, the Montgomery County District Attorney’s office will now review the case and file the appropriate charges.