Search on for third suspect after bank robbery ends in police pursuit in Ajax
Rachael D'Amore, CTV News Toronto
Published Monday, March 12, 2018 2:54PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, March 12, 2018 10:45PM EDT
Two suspects have been arrested and one remains outstanding after a Courtice, Ont. bank robbery ended in a police pursuit that stretched across Highway 401 to Ajax.
Durham Regional Police say officers began pursuing the suspects after shots were fired during a robbery at a Scotiabank branch on Highway 2 at around 1 p.m.
The three suspects allegedly fled the bank, got into a vehicle and tried to take off.
Const. George Tudos said that officers were able to box-in the suspect vehicle but the driver continued to try and flee, “striking several police vehicles” in the process.
“That’s when one officer discharged his firearm,” Tudos said.
The suspects then drove away from the bank, heading eastbound on Highway 401, but eventually abandoned the vehicle on a ramp near Salem Road and disappeared on foot in a wooded area.
Video from the CTV News Toronto chopper shows heavily armed officers gathered near the abandoned black car on the side of the highway. At one point, police officers and canine members cut a hole in a fence leading to the wooded area to continue their search.
Ontario Provincial Police closed one eastbound lane on Highway 401 between Salem and Stevenson roads to allow for the investigation.
Shortly after 5 p.m., Tudos confirmed to CP24 that two of the three male suspects had been arrested.
“Speaking with investigators at the scene, they were able to tell me that they recovered two firearms – one here in the vehicle and another near to where the one shot was fired (by an officer),” he said.
An 18-year-old and 17-year-old male arrested in connection with the case were located hiding in an Ajax residential neighbourhood in the area of Miles Drive and Wicks Drive, police said.
There was no immediate word on charges. No one sustained any injuries during the alleged bank robbery.
Earlier, Schmidt said the OPP helicopter assisted with the search.
“We have canine units and emergency response team members in the area along with Whitby OPP officers,” Schmidt said.