Authorities arrested three men and are questioning a woman in connection with a Valley Center bank robbery that had the town on lockdown for nearly three hours Thursday afternoon, Valley Center police said.
Police advised residents to stay in their homes as they hunted for the suspects, who police say robbed an Intrust Bank branch at 142 N. Ash in Valley Center, around 12:20 p.m. Thursday, Valley Center Police Chief Mark Hephner said. The last suspect – a man – was apprehended shortly before 3 p.m. just west of Sheridan on Main Street.
Hephner said he thinks a resident saw the man and called 911. Police found him lying behind a car or building and arrested him.
Two other men – who were unarmed, according to Sedgwick County sheriff’s Sgt. Oscar Thomasson – and the woman were caught early Thursday afternoon, Hephner said.
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"We have some people in custody at this time that we feel are involved in the bank robbery," Hephner said.
On Friday the sheriff's office identified suspects as Dlaney Nixon, 23; Terry Revels, 49; Henry Adams III, 31; and Veronica Johnson, 34.
Police still don’t know how much money the robbers stole from Intrust Bank, Hephner said. Officers recovered some cash in the bank’s parking lot and in the car, he said.
"We’re still sorting all that out in terms of exact numbers," he added when asked to describe the suspects’ roles in the heist.
“We’re still early in the investigation. There will be a lot of follow-ups and interviews, but as far as we know, everyone is in custody.”
Officials also recovered what they think was the car used by the robbers, a white Cadillac.
Hephner gave this account of the robbery:
At least two men entered Intrust Bank shortly after noon and demanded people in the building lie down on the floor. The robbers then jumped over the counters "and removed money from the bank" then fled in a car.
Someone spotted the car shortly after the robbery and alerted police. A Valley Center officer stopped the car, and three of the people inside "bailed out." One was immediately apprehended. Two others were found later.
An officer fired shots toward at least one suspect during a chase for the robbers. At least one round hit a local business, Valley Offset, but no one was hurt.
Hephner said there is no evidence the robbers discharged any weapons. At least one gun was recovered, he said.
A K-9 unit was brought in to search for the third suspect, who was caught around 3 p.m. Authorities — including the Valley Center Police Department, Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office and Kansas Highway Patrol — were among those searching for the man in an area between Meridian and West streets south of Main Street.
Valley Center schools, which were placed on lockdown during the search, were given the “all clear” by the Valley Center Police Department, according to a posting on the school district’s website. Hephner said students were out of school Thursday but teachers and staff were in the buildings.
The Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office has taken over the case, Hephner said. The FBI is also investigating.
Contributing: Hurst Laviana of The Eagle