Suspects in downtown chase charged
Updated 5:18 pm, Thursday, January 17, 2013
Authorities have identified two suspects in a west Houston bank heist who led police on an hour-long slow-speed chase along several freeways and through downtown.
Brackshear Booker, 48, and 24-year-old Robert Hansen, both of Houston, are each charged with one count of aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon, according to the FBI.
FBI officials said the robbery occurred at the Trustmark Bank at 10301-A Katy Freeway about 12:35 p.m. Wednesday.
Hansen walked into the bank, brandished a revolver and demanded money, officials said. A teller gave him an undisclosed amount of cash. Then Hansen went into the parking lot and climbed into a tan Chevrolet Venture minivan, which was driven by Booker. The pair drove away. No injuries were reported.
Officers spotted the van a short time later on the South Loop near Kirby, said Lt. Randall Upton of the Houston Police Department. They tried to stop the van, but the driver refused. Officers followed the suspects, beginning a long, winding chase through portions of the city at speeds of about 65 mph.
"It wasn't a very high-speed chase," Upton said. "They weren't driving recklessly."
The suspects at one point travelled eastbound on the Katy Freeway and later entered the Gulf Freeway, driving through downtown.
The officers tried to stop the suspects, even tossing spike strips on roadways in front of the van. At one point, one of the van's tires went flat and a rim popped off the wheel.
The suspects exited the Gulf Freeway at Telephone and meandered along surface streets until the van stopped in the 7400 block of Scott near Noah about 1:20 p.m.
Booker jumped out and ran away, but he soon stopped, raised his arms into the air and dropped to his knees as officers closed in on him and took him into custody.
Hansen got out of the van when it stopped, raised his hands in the air and surrendered to police.
Upton said during the chase a few items were thrown from the van, but police did not disclose what they were. He said he noticed some currency in the van after it was stopped and the suspects were arrested. It was unclear if the van had been stolen.