Janesville64.5°

Police still seek one bank robber

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Mike DuPre'
November 11, 2007
— One suspect from the Friday midday robbery of a Footville bank remained at large Saturday night, but police know who they are looking for.

Matthew Evans, 26, address unknown, was still being hunted while five other people were in custody in Rock County and Winnebago County, Ill.


Four of those arrested and Evans were directly involved in the robbery of Mid America Bank, 365 Century Lane, and the fifth was named as a member of a conspiracy to rob the bank, according to a federal criminal complaint.


After the dust settled and many officers and several agencies had a chance to compare reports and observations, the FBI thinks that that four men actually entered the bank and robbed it, and one woman drove a getaway car.


Initial reports mentioned five robbers in the bank and a woman driver, and two men were erroneously thought to be at large.


Rock County Sheriff Bob Spoden reported Saturday that the three people arrested after a high-speed chase into Illinois were Troy N. Thomas, 35, of 1108 Kent St., Rockford, Ill.; Donald L. Thompson, 21, of 346 Leather Court, Rockford, and Skye E. Archambault, 20, of 205 S. Wright St., Orfordville.


When they were arrested, Thomas was driving, and they had more than $4,900 in cash, a 12-gauge shotgun and two Halloween masks in their car, a brown Mercury Grand Marquis, Spoden said.


Arrested after a short foot chase in Newark Township was Curtis Seaberry, 20, of 2007 Auburn St., Apt. 2W, Rockford.


Also arrested in Illinois was Lisa Ramos, 30, address unknown, on a federal charge of conspiracy to commit bank robbery because she bought three Halloween masks used to conceal the robbers’ identity, Spoden said.


FBI agents questioned the suspects, and the federal complaint lists Evans, Thomas, Thompson and Seaberry as the robbers who entered the bank and brandished guns and Archambault as the driver, Spoden said.


Whether Archambault was at the bank or met the others shortly afterward with a second car was still unknown, the sheriff said.


Spoden also was uncertain whether any other weapons were recovered. Rock County detectives had not yet reviewed security video recordings from the bank, but bank employees said all the robbers who entered the bank were armed.


Also unclear Saturday was how many employees and customers were in the bank and what exactly happened there. No one was reported injured.


The robbers apparently dumped their original car, a Lexus reported stolen earlier in the day in Beloit, on Schaffner Road and got into the Mercury.


At 12:20 p.m., they stopped in a driveway on Highway 81, where Deputy Karl Weberg encountered them and ordered them at gunpoint to surrender. Evans and Seaberry ran, and the other three got back in the car and took off with Thomas now driving, Spoden said.


Weberg could not legally shoot at the suspects because there was no imminent threat of death or serious injury and they did not display any weapons, Spoden explained.


Weberg pursued the car into Illinois at speeds of between 70 and 100 mph with the fugitive car occasionally driving into oncoming traffic. Winnebago County detectives joined the chase, and the Mercury eventually stopped, Spoden said.


Thomas had to be sprayed with pepper spray and threatened with a baton before he surrendered, Spoden said. The other two suspects surrendered without incident.


So did Seaberry. He was arrested at gunpoint by Rock County deputies Ron Schmidt and Greg Niles about five minutes after he ran from Weberg, Spoden said.


The arrested suspects were in jail Saturday night, awaiting federal court hearings. Because the bank was federally insured and the suspects crossed the state line, the robbery was a federal crime, the sheriff said.


He doubted that Evans was still in the area but warned that he should be considered dangerous. Anyone seeing Evans should call Rock County detectives at (608) 757-7923.



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