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3 Bank Robbery Suspects Arrested After High-Speed Chase

Published On: Aug 17 2011 12:48:22 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 18 2011 10:35:20 AM CDT
WEST BRUNSWICK TWP., Pa. -

Three men suspected of robbing a bank were nabbed after leading police on a chase that reached speeds of more than 100 miles per hour.

The holdup happened around 11:15 Monday morning at the Union Bank and Trust on Route 61 in West Brunswick Township, Schuylkill County, just outside Orwigsburg.

According to information provided by police, two of the three men, all from Reading, went into the bank with guns. They said the one went behind the counter and demanded the vault be opened while the other forced the tellers to empty their cash drawers into trash bags.

Once they got all the cash, police said the suspects then tried to remove the surveillance video, but they were unsuccessful and fled the bank.

"I would venture to say that they knew what they kind of knew were doing," said Cpl. Michael Sadusky, Pa. State Police.

A witness reported seeing them head south on Route 61 in a maroon Dodge Charger.

State police said troopers from the Hamburg barracks then stationed themselves along the highway, waiting for the alleged robbers to approach.

"This attempt was foiled by the quick response of the Pennsylvania State Police, as well as information provided as to the description of the vehicle," said Tpr. Scott Feichtel.

As they passed by and troopers began to follow, police said the suspects got onto Interstate 78 West at a high rate of speed and began passing vehicles on both the southern and northern berms of the highway.

At times, police said the pursuit exceeded speeds of 100 miles per hour before the suspects stopped their car about 10 miles west of the Route 61 interchange.

All three men, identified as Justin Allen Smith, 20, Orlando Luis Velez, 23, and Quamaine Irvin Tisdale, 21, were apprehended without incident.

Police said Smith was wearing a bullet-proof vest.

"I can't speculate as to what the dangers were, but we are happy that this came to a halt without incident and no one was injuries," said Sadusky.

The suspects were facing charges of armed robbery, simple assault, terroristic threats, and recklessly endangering another person.

Police did not say how much money the men left the bank with.

Bail was set at $400,000 for Velez, Jr., and $300,000 for the two other suspects. They remain in the Schuylkill County Prison.