Villanova lockdown lifted; all bank robbery suspects in custody

June 19, 2013 8:33:54 PM PDT
Three men are in custody after allegedly robbing a bank, then trying to make a getaway though some lush and landscaped back yards.

Only Action News was there in Lower Pottsgrove Wednesday night as all three suspects were brought in to police headquarters for processing.

All three will charged in connection with the bank heist and subsequent manhunt in an upscale section of Villanova that led to a lockdown Wednesday afternoon Villanova University.

"Unconfirmed reports say there may have been a fourth person, but we have no credible evidence at this time," said Lower Pottsgrove Police Sergeant Tim Walters.

That conclusion came after a small army of police from Lower Pottsgrove, Radnor, Upper and Lower Merion, as well as Pennsylvania state troopers, converged on a section of Villanova where a number of Main Line mansions border each other.

All of this alarmed residents who are more accustomed to seeing this kind of stuff in an action movie on the big screen or television.

"It was actually a little scary for awhile. We had guns and the boys went out to play lacrosse and they were told to get inside and lock the doors as quickly as they could," said resident Hayley Wada.

Police say it began about 2:50 p.m. Wednesday when police say the three suspects, including one serving as the getaway driver, staged a brazen holdup at the National Penn Bank in Lower Pottsgrove.

"Two subjects entered the bank armed with handguns. They got money out of the bank. They also got money from an incoming patron who was making a deposit," said Walters.

Police say the suspects fled in a silver sedan which was spotted on Route 422 near I-76 by an alert Upper Merion officer on his way in to work. A chase ensued, with a number of law enforcement agencies involved.

The suspects ended up on a cul-de-sac on Greenwood Court off Montgomery Avenue. Within minutes, officers armed with semi-automatic weapons, shotguns and K-9 dogs fanned out through the area, shutting down a number of streets.

Villanova University was put on lockdown for some time to prevent men presumed to be armed and dangerous coming in contact with students and faculty.

With the large dragnet in place, it would not be long before lawmen arrested all three. Chopper 6 was over the scene when one of them was arrested on the grounds of the Haas estate.

One motorist got caught up in it as she was on her way to Greenwood Court to comfort a resident who was alarmed by it all.

"I've never been in a situation like that, honestly. We were just passing by and we saw the situation and came by to help our friends to feel safer," said Natalia Ugulava of King of Prussia.

As of late Wednesday, the suspects' names had not been released.

They are expected to be charged with bank robbery, conspiracy and related offenses.


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