Updated: September 19, 2012 at 12:00 am
Police tracked a robber through west and southwest Colorado Springs on Wednesday as the man threw money out of the silver Volkswagen he was driving.
David Anderson, 26, was arrested near the Antlers Hilton hotel, where someone called to report a man handing out cash in the lobby, Colorado Springs police said. Anderson, wearing a bright red Flash superhero T-shirt when he was caught, is being held on suspicion of aggravated robbery and attempted robbery in connection to the afternoon crime spree.
A police officer at the arrest scene held a plastic bag of recovered cash.
The first robbery was reported just after 1 p.m. at the Big 5 sporting goods store on West Uintah Street, where a man armed with a shotgun tried to obtain another weapon, police said. The robber fired a shot inside the store and an employee attempted to disarm him, police said.
No one was injured. Initial reports indicated the man was threatening to commit suicide, police said.
About 20 minutes later, Adams Bank and Trust at 265 E. Cheyenne Mountain Blvd. was robbed. The robber poured gasoline at the bank but couldn’t light it, police said. He fled in a silver Jetta.
Less than five minutes later, a robber tried to enter the UMB Bank at 290 E. Cheyenne Mountain Blvd. but was stopped by a security guard, police said.
Jill Kolman, a bartender at the Hatch Cover Bar & Grill behind both banks, said she was blissfully unware of the frenzy of police activity.
“Honestly, we didn’t know it was going on until our regulars started coming in for happy hour,” she said. By that time, everyone noticed the rings of yellow police tape around the banks. This is not the first time that Adams Bank has been robbed, Kolman said. A few years ago it was robbed twice in six months, prompting the bar and restaurant to install a security system, she added.
But the robber didn’t stop on East Cheyenne Mountain Boulevard. Less than a half hour later, the Chase Bank at 28 E. Boulder St. near downtown was robbed by a man fitting the same description as in the other crimes, police said.
The robber at all the scenes was armed with a rifle, Lt. Patricia Feese said.
Officers caught Anderson just a couple minutes after the Chase robbery.
Witnesses called police and said they found money in the streets at three separate locations. Police ask that anyone who collected some of the stolen money return it to police.
During the pursuit, Palmer High School was on lockdown, but Feese said the school was reopened sometime before 2:30 p.m.