A man walked into Regions Bank in Collinsville on Friday and demanded cash, the third metro-east bank robbery in 24 hours.
There is no “known connection” to other bank robberies in the area “at this time,” Collinsville Police Department said in a news release, although authorities are considering the possibility.
The suspect and an accomplice fled police and crashed trying to head toward the Eads Bridge in East St. Louis, police said. Both were in custody and taken to local hospitals for treatment.
Collinsville Police Chief Stephen Evans said an individual entered the bank at about 11:30 a.m. Friday and demanded money from a teller. When the employee backed away, the suspect reached over the counter and grabbed an undisclosed amount of money. “He inferred a weapon, but none was displayed,” Evans said. No one was injured during the robbery.
The same suspect was reportedly at the U.S. Bank at 501 Belt Line Road earlier, where he acted “suspiciously” before leaving, according to police.
Friday morning, Collinsville Police officers stood in front of the bank on Eastport Plaza Drive, near the intersection of Illinois 157 and Interstate 55-70 in Collinsville, informing customers that the bank was closed as other officers conducted the investigation inside.
Witnesses told police a red Kia Sportage occupied by two people had sped away from the scene. The vehicle description was transmitted to authorities in the area, and U.S. Marshals spotted the vehicle near Ninth and Summit streets in East St. Louis. They attempted to pull the vehicle over, but the suspects refused to stop and eventually rolled over and crashed crashed near the Eads Bridge, taking out a light pole and highway signs. Two men were rescued from the crashed vehicle, arrested and taken away in ambulances, East St. Louis Police Lt. Bobby Cole said.
He did not have identities or conditions for the men.
“We had lots of support to get these guys,” Cole said. Four local police agencies joined marshals by the end of the pursuit.
The Kia had temporary tags from Illinois.
Evans said it was “very early” in the investigation and he could not release much information, but that further details would be released later in the day. He could not say yet whether bank cameras had captured an image of the man, but said the FBI was working with them on the investigation.
Two other banks were robbed Thursday in the metro-east. “I know there’s a string of them going on right now, but it’s too early to say whether this is related,” Evans said.
Return to bnd.com for more on this developing story.
Kelsey Landis contributed to this story.