Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Robber's escape done in by dye

Posted on Wed, Jul 20, 2011 at 2:32 PM

The escape of a bank robbery suspect from a Spokane bank was foiled by a hidden dye pack, police say.

After drawing a firearm and forcing employees of the Wells Fargo branch at 6228 N. Monroe St. to hand over an undisclosed amount of money, 43-year-old Lawrence Wideman allegedly fled the premises on foot. 

Besides cash, the suspect also picked up a hidden pack of orange dye that was intended to alert citizens to fleeing robbery suspects, Spokane Police spokeswoman Teresa Fuller says. Fuller says Wideman may not have realized that orange powder was billowing from his backpack, but she would not elaborate further as to how the suspect might have acquired the device.

A passing motorist noticed the billowing dye and followed Wideman until he got into a car, whereupon she called police, who continued to pursue the suspect.

After noticing his followers, Wideman drove through a fence at the military cemetery on Government Way, jumped out of his car, and was eventually arrested near the Spokane River. 

"It doesn't always come together like this," Fuller says.

Wideman is in custody on suspicion of first-degree robbery. 

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