Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Bank robbers flee, leaving trail of stolen cars in wake

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ARMED bank robbers are on the run in southern Manitoba after holding up a Winnipeg bank Thursday and stealing multiple vehicles with police in pursuit.

The robbers, armed with bear spray and at least one gun, initially left the bank on Wednesday evening in a stolen truck, abandoned that truck for a stolen car, were pulled over at a police traffic stop on Markham Road, and then sped away from that stop and left Winnipeg travelling south.

The last known location of the thieves was in the town of Morris around 8 p.m. Thursday, where the car was found ditched in the parking lot of the Bigway Foods store.

Police have released little information about what happened next, but the owner of Bigway Foods said a woman shopping inside had her black Ford truck stolen from the parking lot where she had left it running. RCMP have only said they believe the stolen vehicle is linked to the Winnipeg bank robbery robbers.

The robbers have not been located. The Winnipeg Police Service is leading the investigation with the assistance of the RCMP, but neither organization has released a description of the suspects.

The chain of events began around 6:45 p.m. Thursday night, when three men armed with bear spray and a firearm entered the Scotiabank at 1549 Kenaston Blvd.

The suspects fled with an undisclosed amount of cash in a stolen Chevrolet Silverado truck.

The firearm was not discharged and no injuries were reported during the robbery.

Winnipeg police later found the Silverado abandoned and discovered the men had acquired a second stolen vehicle, this time a Chrysler Intrepid. Police have not said whether the car was stolen at the time the truck was abandoned, or had been stolen ahead of time.

The Intrepid was then pulled over at a traffic stop in the 900 block of Markham Road shortly after 7 p.m.. An adult female exited the vehicle and was taken into custody.

The woman has so far not been charged with anything and police haven't said whether she participated in the bank robbery.

While police were taking the woman into custody, the vehicle with the remaining occupants sped away from the traffic stop and left Winnipeg city limits, eventually travelling southbound on Hwy. 75.

The vehicle reached speeds of more than 140 km/h.

It was then dumped at the food store in Morris.

RCMP are currently looking into the report of the truck stolen in Morris and are not commenting on anything to do with the Winnipeg police investigation of the bank robbery.

brian.platt@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 22, 2012 A11

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