Thursday, March 3, 2011

Hillsborough cop apprehends robbery suspect

A Hillsborough police officer captured and arrested a robbery suspect Tuesday night, March 1, shortly after a person was robbed at a bank on South Churton Street while trying to make a deposit.

At 9:25 p.m. March 1, officers responded to a call of a robbery at the BB&T bank at 351 S. Churton St. Officers, who were nearby when the call was dispatched, arrived in moments and learned the victim—Christine Gattis, an employee of Dollar General at 110 Rebecca Drive—had been attempting to make a night deposit when she was knocked to the ground and her deposit bags taken.

Officer Nicholas Chelenza, who immediately started checking the area around the bank after the call was dispatched, spotted a man riding a bicycle away from the bank on Ja-Max Drive a short distance from the bank. The officer attempted to stop the man, who kept riding the bicycle initially, then abandoned it and fled on foot. Chelenza chased the subject, eventually capturing him behind another business. Two deposit bags were recovered from the subject.

“This was not just a case of officers just being in the right place at the right time,” Hillsborough Police Chief Duane Hampton said. “It was a case of officers being aware and active during their patrols, responding quickly and professionally and working together.”

Frederick Lamont Wardlow, 37, of 517 Tuliptree Road in Hillsborough, was arrested and charged with common law robbery; resisting and delaying a public officer; and possession of a small amount of marijuana that was found after he was arrested.

Hillsborough police were assisted by officers from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and the N.C. Highway Patrol, who responded to the area within minutes. Orange County agencies recently have become better connected through the 800 MHz radio system, a blend of traditional two-way radio technology and computer-controlled transmitters that have enhanced multi-agency cooperation.

“The actions of all the officers involved in responding to this situation and apprehending the suspect speak volumes of the officers themselves,” Hillsborough’s police chief said. “I also want to thank our partner agencies who were on scene so quickly to assist.”

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