A Volvo SUV believed to be the getaway car for a bank robbery led Los Angeles authorities on a long car chase while its occupants threw handfuls of cash out the window Wednesday.
While being pursued throughout the city by as many as 11 cars, the suspects repeatedly threw money out the passenger-side window, luring crowds of pedestrians attempting to grab cash into the way of pursuing deputies. The chase ended when a large pickup truck blocked the Volvo at an intersection, prompting deputies to rush the vehicle with guns drawn. The sheriff's deputies then pulled two suspects from the vehicle, a passenger and the driver, who was wearing a tie and business attire.
At that point, hundreds of local residents surrounded the scene, some touching the car and looking into its interior. Eventually more Los Angeles police arrived, established a perimeter around the car, and dispersed the crowd.
The chase began when at least four suspects robbed a Bank of America in Santa Clarita, northwest of Los Angeles, using a handgun, Capt. Mike Parker of the Los Angeles County Sherrif's Department told KABC. The Volvo then led authorities on a chase southward into Los Angeles, stopping to let suspects out in the Sylmar area of north Los Angeles.
"We still have an active investigation in the Sylmar area, where two or three suspects bailed out early in the pursuit," Parker told KABC. "But so far no injuries are known, which frankly is miraculous."
As for the cash thrown from the vehicle, which if connected with the robbery is considered evidence, Parker said retrieving it all was unlikely.
"It would be unrealistic to think we're going to get back every dollar," Parker said. "But I'd like to think all the honest people would contact the Santa Clarita Valley Police Station and say, 'Look, I found this money,' and do the right thing."
The incident is the latest in a series of dramatic robberies in Los Angeles of late. Last week, bank robbers kidnapped an area bank manager outside her home, strapped a fake explosive to her, and forced her to drive to her workplace to rob it. Tuesday, a robbery suspect led authorities on a chase in downtown Los Angeles that ended in a gun battle in which the suspect was shot while wielding a semiautomatic assault rifle.
Seth Cline is a reporter with U.S. News and World Report. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter.