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Police capture Squirrel Hill bank robbery suspect

| Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, 9:44 a.m.
Police mark points at the crime scene along Beacon Street after the First National Bank at the corner of Beacon and Murray Ave. in Squirrel Hill was robbed Wednesday morning, November 7th, 2012. The suspect was apprehended shortly after a couple blocks away, and the stolen money was recovered in a paper bag. Keith Hodan | Tribune-Review
Police and detectives gather on Munhall Street in Squirrel Hill where a robbery suspect was apprehended after the First National Bank at the corner of Beacon and Murray Ave. was robbed, Wednesday morning, November 7th, 2012. The suspect was apprehended shortly after and the stolen money was recovered in a paper bag. Keith Hodan | Tribune-Review
People in the Hillel Academy look through their door at the police car that crashed through the school's fence after the First National Bank at the corner of Beacon St. and Murray Ave. in Squirrel Hill was robbed Wednesday morning, November 7th, 2012. The suspect was apprehended shortly after a couple blocks away, and the stolen money was recovered. The police officer driving the patrol car was not injured in the accident. Keith Hodan | Tribune-Review
The First National Bank at the corner of Beacon St. and Murray Ave. in Squirrel Hill was robbed Wednesday morning, November 7th, 2012. The suspect was apprehended shortly after a couple blocks away, and the stolen money was recovered. Keith Hodan | Tribune-Review
Police look for and gather evidence along Beacon Street after the First National Bank at the corner of Beacon and Murray Ave. in Squirrel Hill was robbed Wednesday morning, November 7th, 2012. The suspect was apprehended shortly after a couple blocks away, and the stolen money was recovered in a paper bag. Keith Hodan | Tribune-Review
Tribune-Review
A hawk sits on a telephone pole in Etna on Wednesday, November 7, 2012. Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review

Pittsburgh police captured a bank robbery suspect on Wednesday morning in Squirrel Hill, crashing a police car into a fence at a school during a brief chase.

A man robbed the First National Bank on Murray Avenue just after 9 a.m., police Lt. Kevin Kraus said. The suspect carried a gun and robbed three tellers, then ran off. Witnesses told police that the man was wearing a gray Ohio State University hooded sweatshirt, Kraus said.

About a half hour later, a letter carrier called 911 to report a suspicious man hiding in the bushes outside a home on Beacon Street.

When officers arrived, the man ran out of the bushes carrying a white bag, Kraus said. As police chased him, Officer Matt White lost control of his cruiser and crashed into a fence and a tree at Hillel Academy.

The officer was hospitalized as a precaution, but he's OK, Kraus said.

Police captured the suspect shortly afterward and found the gun and stolen cash, Kraus said. The man, whom police have not identified, also had marijuana.

He refused to give officers his name and was not carrying any identification, Kraus said. Police took him to a hospital for evaluation, then to the Allegheny County Jail.

Officials at Hillel Academy locked down the school.

“We heard it,” said Sam Weinberg, principal of the school. “By the time I got outside, the police officer was halfway up the block. We're very lucky that the tree was there.”

Margaret Harding is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-8519 or mharding@tribweb.com.

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