Robber hits Squirrel Hill bank, police car crashes
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Pittsburgh police quickly captured a suspect in a robbery at First National Bank in Squirrel Hill this morning.
The robber struck about 9 a.m. at the branch in the 1900 block of Murray Avenue. Carrying a gun, he demanded money from three tellers, who complied. He ran away toward Beacon Street, according to police spokeswoman Diane Richard.
Officers who were called to the scene began searching for the unidentified suspect, described as male and wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt with Ohio State on the front.
While the search was continuing, a postal worker reported a man hiding in bushes in the 5700 block of Beacon. When officers got there, a man fitting the robber's description emerged and tried to run.
Officers gave chase and caught him in a backyard a short distance away, finding the money, drugs and a gun.
Meanwhile, at nearby Hillel Academy, staffers saw a responding Pittsburgh police car go through a fence and hit a tree, said principal Sam Weinberg.
Emergency procedures were put in place at the school, with students confined to classrooms and away from street-facing rooms. Within minutes, however, police notified the school that the suspected robber had been apprehended and the all-clear was given.
The officer who crashed was not hurt, Ms. Richard said this afternoon.
Students were able to leave the building for recess as normal, Mr. Weinberg said.
The suspect was taken to a hospital as a precaution and then to the Allegheny County Jail. Police did not know his identity but charged him as "John Doe" with robbery, firearms and drug violations.
First Published November 7, 2012 10:22 am