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Dover Post
  • Bank robbery suspects stopped in their tracks

  • Four persons who allegedly held up the M&T Bank at East Lebanon Road and South State Street barely made it a mile away before being caught.
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  • Delaware State Police troopers arrested four bank robbery suspects Monday only a short distance from their target. All four have been committed to prison on a number of charges.
    The incident began at approximately 1:30 p.m. when two men came into the M&T Bank at East Lebanon Road and South State Street, said police spokesman Master Cpl. Gary Fournier. The men, later identified as Larry J. Pierce, 30, and Phillip O. Yates, 30, both of Dover, walked in and allegedly demanded money from the tellers. The two fled on foot southward on South State Street after receiving an undisclosed amount of cash.
    A bulletin that went out over the police radio resulted in a trooper spotting two men matching Yates and Pierce's description getting into a silver car on Richardson Circle, just south of the bank. As the trooper drew up to the car, Pierce allegedly tried to run away from the area, but was quickly caught along with a stolen bag of cash and a loaded .22-caliber handgun.
    Officers from Dover, Camden, Wyoming and the Capital Police quickly joined in the search for the car, which had fled the scene, Fournier said. The vehicle was spotted and stopped on Cool Springs Drive, about a mile from the bank.
    Yates allegedly tried to flee, but was caught by a state trooper. The driver, identified as Vannessa Singletary, 26, of Suffolk, Va., and a passenger, Dashunda Harmon, 25, of Milton, were taken into custody without incident. A search of the car turned up a loaded .32-caliber handgun where Yates had been seated, and more than 50 grams of marijuana.
    Both Pierce and Yates were charged with first-degree robbery, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance (marijuana), two counts of possession of a firearm by a person prohibited, seven counts of aggravated menacing, wearing a disguise during the commission of a felony, second-degree conspiracy and resisting arrest. They were jailed at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna after failing to pay a $204,000 cash bond.
    Singletary was charged with first-degree robbery, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance (marijuana), two counts of possession of a firearm by a person prohibited, seven counts of aggravated menacing, wearing a disguise during the commission of a felony, second-degree conspiracy and possession of marijuana. She was sent to the Delores J. Baylor Women's Correctional Institution, Wilmington, in default of a $203,500 cash bond.
    Harmon was charged with first-degree robbery, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance (marijuana), possession of a firearm by a person prohibited, seven counts of aggravated menacing, wearing a disguise during the commission of a felony and second-degree conspiracy. She was sent to the Delores J. Baylor Women's Correctional Institution, Wilmington, in default of a $193,500 cash bond.
    Page 2 of 2 - None of the three bank employees or four patrons were injured.
    Pierce was treated by emergency medical personnel for a minor injury to his hand after a dye pack in the stolen money exploded.
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