Archive for Thursday, November 9, 2006

Lansing officer helps foil suspects’ getaway

November 9, 2006

Lansing Police played a key role in thwarting the getaway of two men who have since been indicted in the bold, armed robbery of a Leavenworth bank.

The robbery occurred after 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 7, when a gunman wearing a mask entered MidAmerican Bank & Trust, 401 Delaware St., and demanded money from a teller, said Leavenworth Police Maj. Pat Kitchens.

An eyewitness who had seen the gunman leave the bank provided police with a description of the getaway car, which then was broadcast to area law enforcement agencies.

In Lansing, Patrol Officer Manual Olmos-Molina was on routine patrol on De Soto Road and saw a car matching the description of the robbery suspects' vehicle, Lansing Police Chief Steve Wayman said.

"Manny decided to turn on it and check it out, and when he turned around, the car accelerated away from him," Wayman said.

His pursuit led to the arrest of Kevin Tommie Hall, 46, and James L. Morrison, 47. The two were indicted Wednesday by a federal grand jury meeting in Kansas City, Kan., with one count of bank robbery.

Officers from the Lansing Police Department, which ultimately were joined by Leavenworth Police, Leavenworth County Sheriff's Office, the Kansas Highway Patrol, and Basehor, Bonner Springs and Kansas City, Kan., police departments, pursued the vehicle through portions of south-central Lansing, down to the Falcon Lakes development in Basehor, back to Lansing, and south again to U.S. Highway 73 and Parallel Parkway, Wayman said.

There, a stop stick punctured at least two of the tires on the vehicle but didn't stop the car, which continued on its way to the Legends shopping center in Kansas City, Kan., where the car stopped and the suspects were captured.

In all, about an hour had passed since the robbery.

Wayman said authorities recovered a bag - possibly containing some of the robbery money - and clothing belonging to one of the suspects near 147th and Parallel.

"It was a group effort," he said. "Everything clicked. A bank was robbed. A call went out. Agencies mobilized. The bad guys were captured."

The suspects were taken to Kansas City, Mo., and turned over to federal agents, who took over the investigation.

MidAmerican Bank was closed for the remainder of Tuesday but reopened for business Wednesday.

No one was injured in the robbery, Kitchens said.

It was the second bank robbery in Leavenworth in a year, Kitchens said, but the first armed bank robbery in at least a decade.

"We had to ask the old-timers when the last one was," he said.

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