Two men nabbed for Westport bank robbery after wrong-way Merritt crash
Two New Haven men held up the TD Bank office on Post Road East this morning, police said, and fled through town before speeding onto the Merritt Parkway in the wrong direction, where they crashed into another car and were caught after a foot chase through woods near Newtown Turnpike.
The bank at 1111 Post Road East also was held up July 2, when three men from Bridgeport were charged with the armed heist. All three men were captured within a few days of the robbery. (Here's the Westport News report on that incident http://bit.ly/1tim6Md )
In the latest robbery, two men entered the bank about 9:30 a.m. and demanded money from the tellers. No weapons were shown during the robbery, police said.
The men fled the bank with an undetermined amount of cash in a gold Volvo with Virginia license plates, according to scanner reports. The getaway car was spotted by police on the Post Road near Compo Road. Officers were unable to stop the car, but begin pursuing the men.
The suspects headed north on Wilton Road to the Merritt Parkway, where they entered the highway via the eastbound lanes and headed west. At that point, police said, they terminated the chase and did not pursue the suspects onto the highway in the wrong direction.
An unmarked cruiser, however, entered the parkway on the other side of the highway to monitor the suspects and alert other police units to their status, according to the report.
Police issued the following timeline for events that unfolded Tuesday after the robbery of the TD Bank at 1111 Post Road East:
9:38 a.m.: Alarm received from bank.
9:39 a.m.: 911 call from bank employees with details of robbery suspects and their car.
9:43 a.m.: Detectives locate the vehicle and suspects on Post Road East near Compo Road. Attempt made to stop suspects, but they flee west and turn north on Wilton Road.
9:46 a.m." Suspects' car enters Merritt Parkway and head the wrong way. Police end pursuit.
9:47 a.m.: Detectives in southbound parkway lanes report suspects' vehicle strikes another vehicle and the men flee on foot.
9:48-10:02 a.m.: Perimeter around the last known location of the suspected robbers is established by Westport police and officers from several other area police departments. A search of the area is launched.
10:02 a.m.: Carmello Dekane is found in nearby wooded area and taken into custody.
10:24 a.m.: Jermaine Cowan is tracked down and taken into custody.
After traveling a short distance, the robbery suspects in the Volvo struck a Toyota SUV as its driver tried to change lanes to avoid full impact with the fleeing car, according to the State Police report. Their car then hit a metal guardrail and spun across both lanes of the parkway before coming to a halt.
The woman driving the Toyota was not seriously injured, police indicated.
One of the men was captured within a few minutes after the crash in a nearby wooded area off Newtown Turnpike without incident, police said. The second suspect was captured about 25 minutes later following a search by Westport police assisted by officers from Norwalk, Wilton, New Canaan and State Police.
Police said they recovered some of the money taken from the bank in the men's possession, and after searching their car, found the clothing they wore while holding up the bank.
The men were identified Tuesday afternoon as:
Carmello K. Dekane, 30, of Limerick Street, New Haven. Dekane, who police said was the driver, was charged with two counts of second-degree robbery, two counts of fourth-degree larceny and engaging police in pursuit. Bond was set at $85,000 and he is scheduled to appear Aug. 26 in Norwalk Superior Court.
Dekane also faces a series of charges filed in connection with the crash on the Merritt Parkway, including reckless driving, driving the wrong way on a limited-access highway, operating without a driver's license and failure to drive in an established lane.
Jermaine Cowan, 35, of Quinnipiac Avenue, New Haven. He was charged with two counts of second-degree robbery and two counts of fourth-degree larceny. Bond was set at $85,000 and he also is set to appear Aug. 27 in Norwalk Superior Court.