Pursuit of bank robbery suspect ends in crash

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CHULA VISTA, Calif. -- A suspect in a robbery at a South Bay financial services office was arrested Wednesday following a brief police chase and a traffic crash that left the fleeing man and a second driver injured.

The holdup at the California Coast Credit Union branch in the 300 block of East H Street in Chula Vista took place just before 2 p.m., when a man confronted a teller and demanded cash while holding his hand in one of his pockets as if clutching a concealed gun, according to police.

After the clerk handed over an undisclosed amount of money, the robber ran out of the office, got into a station wagon and sped off, Lt. Dan Peak said.

A short time later, patrol officers caught up with the suspect and tried to pull him over. Refusing to yield, the man continued eastbound past Southwestern College.

Reaching the intersection of Rutgers Avenue and Otay Lakes Road, just west of state Route 125, the fleeing man allegedly ran a stoplight, sending his car smashing into a second vehicle.

As emergency personnel pulled the suspect out of his crumpled car, currency believed to have been stolen during the nearby robbery spilled onto the roadway, Peak said.

Medics took the suspect and the other driver to a hospital for treatment of minor to moderate injuries, the lieutenant said.

Investigators were still working to confirm the suspect's identity in the late afternoon, Peak said.

The collision left the road crossing closed for about two hours.

Chula Vista Police also said San Diego Police were investigating to see if the man is involved in recent bank robberies in San Diego.

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