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Bank robbery suspects Wednesday led authorities on a bizarre pursuit from Santa Clarita to South Los Angeles, where they began throwing money out the car, drawing crowds eager to scoop up the cash and culminating in a mob scene when the chase ended.
It was not immediately clear whether the suspects were hurling the money out of their vehicle in an attempt to block Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies chasing them or as a Robin Hood-like gesture to simply give the money away.
Dozens of officers — many from the Los Angeles Police Department — were called in to the intersection of Vernon Avenue and Kansas Avenue to control the crowds gathered around police cruisers where the chase ended.
The incident began shortly after 10 a.m. when at least five suspects held up a Bank of America branch on Soledad Canyon Road in Santa Clarita, officials said.
Sheriff’s deputies located the suspect vehicle and began to pursue it. At least three suspects bailed out of the car, two in different locations in the Sylmar area, said Sheriff’s Department spokesman Capt. Mike Parker. Department officials said they had no further information on their whereabouts.
The suspects remaining in the vehicle led deputies on freeways into Pasadena and then south through downtown, where the chase went on to surface streets. The pursuit wound its way into South Los Angeles, where two suspects left in the car began throwing money out of the vehicle at several locations, officials said.
The chase ended around 11:15 a.m., when the vehicle was pinned between a truck and pursuing deputies. As deputies approached the suspects’ SUV, a small dog ran into the street and people closed in on the cruisers.