A group of three or four armed assailants robbed a Tempe bank on Friday and then led police on a chase into Ahwatukee Foothills. Tempe Sgt. Dan Masters said police had arrested three suspected robbers by noon, and investigators believed a fourth man remained at large.
He said police had recovered stolen cash and one set of clothing linked to the crime.
The assailants entered the Wells Fargo bank at McClintock and Warner roads at 9:55 a.m. wearing masks and gardening gloves, Masters said. He said the robbers took an undisclosed amount of money and then fled down Warner in a blue or gray Chrysler Town & Country van with Nevada license plates.
Police attempted to stop the vehicle on Warner, but the driver instead led police on a chase. Masters said the vehicle ran several red lights until the vehicle stopped near 45th Street and Warner in Ahwatukee Foothills.
The assailants jumped out of the vehicle, and police quickly apprehended a female driver. Masters said another assailant entered a house in the neighborhood, and one adult female in the home was able to escape.
Officers surrounded the house, and police dogs were sent inside. When the dogs found nobody in the house, police entered and determined that the residence was empty. At about 11:30 a.m., police arrested a man they found hiding under a couch in an alley behind the home.
Police advised other residents to exercise caution.
"They haven't told me a thing," said neighborhood resident John Hoag, 77. "And they wouldn't let me go to my home."
Witnesses reported seeing one or two other armed men jumping over fences, running through a golf course and through alleys and an apartment complex in the area.
Phoenix police provided an armored personnel carrier, which arrived at the scene about 11:45 a.m. At about the same time, police arrested a third suspect at an apartment complex near Warner and 45th Street.
Masters said no gunshots were fired during the robbery or the chase that followed.
Mountain Pointe High School in the Tempe Union High School District was put on lockdown Friday morning as a precaution.