The Union State Bank in Cedar Bluff was robbed at gunpoint Tuesday shortly after 11 a.m. At this time it has not been determined how many men were in the bank. They left the bank in a tan colored Malibu which was found moments later on Reese Street in Cedar Bluff behind the carwash along with money and dye packs.
Cherokee, Etowah, & DeKalb County Sheriff’s Offices, as well as Fort Payne Police Department Officers, FBI agents, a K-9 team and the Alabama State Trooper Helicopter have been searching for the 4 individuals. The suspects fled from Cherokee County authorities into DeKalb County, and eventually wrecked their vehicle on Highway 35 near New Canaan Church.
Eyewitnesses told law enforcement they observed 4 black men getting into an orange colored Maxima and fled toward Gaylesville on Highway 68. Moments later the suspect vehicle was observed headed north toward Blanche. Deputies followed the vehicle as clothing and money was thrown out along the highway.
The car crashed into the ditch and the suspects fled into the woods. Deputies soon had two men in custody and a short time later apprehended a third. Sheriff Jeff Shaver told WEIS Radio News they also had impounded both vehicles and were still looking for a fourth suspect. A canine tracking team and a state helicopter was dispatched to the scene to help locate the suspect.
DeKalb County Sheriff Jimmy Harris said that authorities have been in the area of Highway 35 and Pumpkin Center Road looking for this suspect. Sheriff Harris said his office, and the other agencies expect to be out on the search until the suspect is located.
The Broomtown and Adamsburg Fire departments shut down highway 35 while officers tried to collect the money thrown from the fleeing vehicle.
The FBI dispatched federal officers to the bank and to the area where the getaway car crashed. Alabama highway 35 was reopened at 2:45 p.m. (Alabama Time)