It's nearly a daily occurrence in Los Angeles: A high-speed police chase broadcast live on television from local news helicopters hovering high above.
But Wednesday's harrowing pursuit was unusual even for Hollywood. At least a dozen times during the 80-minute chase, the suspects in an alleged armed robbery of a Bank of America hurled handfuls of cash out the windows of their SUV, with onlookers scrambling to scoop up the stolen money.
"This [chase] isn't something we see every day," said Mike Parker, spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. "This definitely had some unique aspects to it."
Aerial video showed residents waving to the suspects during the chase and running into the street—some even in front of the police vehicles in pursuit.
"Onlookers were waving to the suspected bank robbers, apparently signaling for them to throw more money," reported NBCLA.com. "At times, the vehicle had to navigate through a mob of people waving at the car."
The pursuit began around 10 a.m. after the alleged armed robbery in the Santa Clarita Valley in northern Los Angeles County, zipping along freeways into downtown Los Angeles.
Four men were involved in the robbery, Parker told KCAL-TV, and no injuries were reported.
Two of the men jumped out of the vehicle, a black Volvo SUV, on the 210 Freeway in San Fernando Valley. Police are searching for those men, Parker added.
The chase ended at approximately 11:30 a.m. in South Los Angeles when the vehicle became blocked by traffic and a mob—apparently aware of the chase and its shower of cash—surrounded the SUV. Sheriff's deputies then took the two remaining suspects into custody.
Wednesday's high-speed pursuit in Los Angeles was the third in as many days, NBCLA.com noted. On Monday, a driver evaded arrest after leading police on a four-hour chase. On Tuesday, a suspect was shot by police after an hour-long pursuit through neighborhoods near downtown.
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