LEBANON, Ind. – An armed robbery sparked a police chase that ended with a crash in Lebanon Thursday. A pair of would-be thieves are now behind bars accused of the crime.
Police say the driver of a blue car was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time and was side-swiped by two suspects trying to escape an armed robbery.
“It’s scary. Thank God she’s going to be alright and wasn’t hurt bad,” said Bernice Hodgin, whose friend was hurt in the crash. “It’s scary. Scary for this small town.”
Lebanon police say the crime started when two thieves robbed a Verizon store before being interrupted by a customer.
“We believe that a customer spooked them and they took off,” said Lebanon police Lt. Ben Phelps.
Lt. Phelps says officers responding to the robbery spotted the white Pontiac speeding away from the store. That’s when police chased after him and the brief pursuit ended with the crash.
The suspects have been identified as 22-year-old Kaeron Ray and 25-year-old Timothy Cottrell Jr. Both men were arrested when they ran into an adjacent mobile home park. Ray has active warrants for crimes in both Marion and Hendricks County.
On Wednesday, Speedway police say a pair of hooded thieves were caught on camera robbing a different Verizon store on Crawfordsville Road. It’s not clear if those suspects are in any way connected to the Lebanon robbery, but police reports show cell phone stores have been a frequent target for robberies in recent months.
For their part, police in Lebanon admit the chase and crash could have turned out a lot worse. Luckily, everyone involved suffered only minor injuries.
“Anytime you get involved in a robbery and pursuit it’s dangerous. Things can go wrong. Today things went well. We got both suspects into custody with minor injuries. No officers were injured. Unfortunately, we did have a couple civilians who were injured when the suspects crashed into them,” said Phelps.
Police say both suspects were taken to a hospital. After that they will be booked into the Boone County jail facing numerous criminal charges.