Local News

Credit Union Robbery Leads to High-Speed Beltline Chase

Posted January 20, 1999

— An attempted credit union robbery Thursday afternoon left a teller injured, and led to a high-speed chase on Raleigh's beltline before police captured the suspect, and arrested him.

The chase started at 2:22 p.m. when off-duty officer R.A. Murr spotted Charles David Berton, 25, fleeing from the Carolinas Telco Federal Credit Union on Creedmoor Road and reported the attempted robbery.

"Subsequently, a pursuit ensued, that pursuit went around the entire beltline," says Maj. E.T. Bert with the Raleigh Police Department.

Raleigh police, assisted by theState Highway Patrol, picked up the chase on the beltline traveling at speeds in excess of 100 mph. The pursuit on the inner loop of the beltline lasted for 15 minutes, before the suspect exited at Jones Franklin Road, and jumped out of the car he was driving.

Authorities followed the suspect into a wooded area, where he surrendered. He is currently inRaleigh Policecustody.

"The suspect was taken into custody after a short foot pursuit into the woods," Bert said. "He ended up running into a section of the woods that was bordered by a pond, and being surrounded by officers, he submitted to an arrest."

The teller was hit in the elbow with bullet fragments and has been taken to Raleigh Community Hospital.

"During the enter reaction, [the suspect's] weapon did go off," Bert said. "It did discharge. The clerk has very minor injuries as a result of receiving some shrapnel from the discharged bullet."

Berton was also charged with two other recent bank robberies in the area - one an armed robbery at the BB&T on Creedmoor Road on Nov. 24, and a holdup at the Summit Credit Union at 2500 Blue Ridge Road on Dec. 1.

Raleigh police said that the suspect is also known as Charles David Becton. He will be charged with armed robbery and assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury.

Although the chase reached speeds in excess of 100 mph, no one was injured.

With a State Highway Patrol helicopter overhead, dozens of police officers risked their own lives, and the safety of others, to catch their man. They say the reason they continued the high-speed chase was clear.

"Unquestionably, this guy was armed and a threat to society," Bert said.

Raleigh police say the pursuit worked like clock-work because it was well-coordinated and well-manned. Despite reaching excessive speeds police officials say steps were taken to keep the risks to a minimum.

"The officers engaged in the pursuit reported the traffic conditions on a regular basis," Bert said. "There were officers that were able to get ahead of the pursuit to make sure traffic was detoured and controlled."

Police say they recovered the money stolen and the gun that was allegedly used in Thursday's crime. andJason Darwin


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