2 witnesses fired at after tailing armored-car robbery suspects, Prince George’s police say

Two people police are calling “good Samaritans” may have thwarted an attempted daytime robbery of an armored car in Prince George’s County on Wednesday by tailing the suspected thieves until officers arrived to investigate, authorities said.

Within hours of the reported robbery, police arrested all four suspects they believe were involved and retrieved the money bag and guns taken from the two guards driving the armored vehicle, police said.

The incident began shortly before 11 a.m., according to Prince George’s police spokesman William Alexander. An armored car was going to pick up cash from a Checkers Drive In on the 4800 block of Allentown Road, just outside the Capital Beltway. Three men confronted two guards conducting the cash pickup, getting away with a money bag and two guns, Alexander said. The suspects got into a green Jeep and tried to escape.

But two witnesses, one of whom is reported to be a former Marine, got into a red pickup truck and followed the green Jeep, Alexander said. The men in the green Jeep shot at the red car.

Neither of the witnesses was shot, but both sustained minor injuries, Alexander said.

“Obviously the good Samaritans break off the chase,” he said. “The suspects follow Branch Avenue into D.C., and that is when the Prince George’s County Police Department begins chasing them.”

The chase ended quickly when the Jeep crashed.

Police recovered four guns, two of which were probably owned by the armed guards, and the money bag, Alexander said. It is unclear how much money was involved in the robbery.

The two witnesses who followed the suspects were helpful, Alexander said, but added that was not an invitation for bystanders to go after armed robbers.

“Their participation and selfless actions definitely assisted us in finding the suspects,” Alexander said. “We thank them for their efforts, but we don’t think citizens should chase armed robbers.”

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Lynh Bui is a Prince George's County public safety reporter and former Montgomery County education reporter.

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