Olentangy Valley News

Suspect in bank robbery nabbed after car chase

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The Delaware County Sheriff's Office arrested a Morrow County man suspected in a weekend bank robbery Tuesday afternoon, Feb. 18, after a short police pursuit resulted in a crash.

Scott Delano Thomas, 26, of Marengo is suspected of robbing the Huntington National Bank branch at 8671 Owenfield Drive in Lewis Center at 10:40 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, according to the sheriff's office.

Sheriff's office spokeswoman Tracy Whited said family and friends of Thomas had tipped off authorities that he was still in the area following the robbery.

After setting up surveillance, deputies located Thomas around noon Feb. 18 in the parking lot of the Walmart store off U.S. Route 23 in Delaware, Whited said. She said deputies decided to stand down because of the large number of people in the area, and instead followed the van Thomas was riding in as it left the parking lot heading south.

"Deputies were waiting south on 23 in case this happened (and) put out stop sticks," Whited said.

The van hit the stop sticks and struck an unmarked police vehicle before crashing into the median, coming to a halt near the intersection of Route 23 and Ohio Health Boulevard in Liberty Township.

Thomas and the van's driver, who had not been charged as of Feb. 18, were arrested after the crash.

"They tried to flee, but we had them surrounded," Whited said.

She said a sheriff's deputy fired a shot during the incident, but no one was hit by the bullet.

Whited said Thomas and the driver were taken to Grady Memorial Hospital with minor injuries after the crash. She said the men would be taken to Delaware County jail and charged in connection with the incident after they are released from the hospital.

According to an Ohio Department of Transportation news release, traffic was restricted on Route 23 in the area early Tuesday afternoon because of the pursuit and its aftermath. All lanes were open by 2:30 p.m.

One day earlier, the Delaware County Sheriff's Office had asked for the public's help in locating Thomas, who was thought to be in the Columbus area.

Bank employees said the suspect entered the bank and handed a note to a teller demanding money with no dye packs.

After receiving an undisclosed amount of money, the suspect fled to a nearby restaurant parking lot and entered the passenger side of a white Honda Accord, reports said.

Witnesses said the suspect appeared unarmed at the time of the robbery, and reports said no one inside the bank was injured during the robbery.

Authorities recovered a stolen vehicle thought to have been the one used in the robbery Sunday morning, Feb. 16, near the intersection of West Broad Street and Belvidere Avenue in Columbus, according to the sheriff's office.

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