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3 Accused of Aiding Robbery Suspect's Flight

Posted November 22, 2007

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— Police said Thursday that they had charged three workers in a Domino's Pizza distribution center with taking money to help a bank robbery suspect try to escape after he ran into the warehouse while fleeing police.

Garner police and Wake County sheriff's deputies were chasing Samuel James Cooper, 30, on Wednesday when he jumped from his van and ran into the pizza business, they said. Cooper later surrendered.

Garner Police Sgt. Joe Binns said that when Cooper ran into the building, he gave some of the money taken from a Bank of America branch to Anthony Ray Avery, 47; Issmar Leonardo Estupiman, 28; and Angel Dario Rodriquez, 25.

The three were charged Wednesday night with being accessories after the fact in the robbery, Binns said.

The event began at about 2 p.m. at a Bank of America at 547 Benson Road. It was robbed at gunpoint, and police chased their suspect for several miles. The suspect's Dodge minivan hit a motorcycle before he ditched it and ran inside the distribution center in Greenfield Parkway, authorities said.

“It was an all-around unsafe situation,” Binns said Wednesday.

After a search of the distribution center, authorities found Cooper. They said they recovered a gun and a stash of cash in the van.

Cooper was charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon and felony speeding to elude arrest. More charges are expected, authorities said.

Police also contacted the FBI, which was investigating whether the Bank of America robbery would connect to other unsolved area heists.

12 Comments

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  • whatelseisnew Nov 23, 2007

    Had I been in this situation, I would have taken the money. Once I was in a safe position to do so, I then would have contacted the police. My place of work as a strict policy against bringing firearms on their premises, so this would be the only option open to me. If the people arrested, concealed the fact that they were paid money and impeded the police action, they have committed a crime.

  • rafiki Nov 23, 2007

    This guy had a gun and could easily have used it on those 3 guys should they have said something so the best thing they did was to take the money and shut up. The only wrong thing was not calling the police on him after knowing that they were safe. In a time of panic people can easily make wrong decisions like this and I would hate to see these guys go to jail for this.

  • Gandalf The White Nov 23, 2007

    “Someone who just robbed a bank runs into your home or office. More than likely, they are armed. They offer you money to help them hide out or escape. They are armed. (Repeated for emphasis.) Do you a)tell them no because possession of stolen money is wrong? b)tell them no because aiding a fugitive is a felony? or c)take the money to avoid being another victim?”

    I will settle for option d especially if they run into my home armed – d) if at all possible shoot them. Multiple times if need be.

  • Red Nov 23, 2007

    Let's take a closer look. Someone who just robbed a bank runs into your home or office. More than likely, they are armed. They offer you money to help them hide out or escape. They are armed. (Repeated for emphasis.) Do you a)tell them no because possession of stolen money is wrong? b)tell them no because aiding a fugitive is a felony? or c)take the money to avoid being another victim? It doesn't take a law degree to know which option will keep you safer.

  • thesummerlins2004 Nov 23, 2007

    This guy is a real loser, and I just hope that he gets everything he deserves legally.Also, for the three Domino's Pizza employees. You three must not have one single brain cell among yourselves. This just proves that you can be clinically brain dead and still work at Domino's. Well gentlemen, and I use that term loosely, you to will get whats coming to you for being so stupid and greedy. All four of these men must make their families just so proud. hahahahaha not!

  • NCMOMof3 Nov 23, 2007

    I'm glad they caught him and everyone was safe but I'm confused. Did he randomly choose this Dominoes and these 3 guys to help him hide the money and the weapon or was this just a quick run through and "hey, hold this for me, would you?" to 3 strangers???

  • abcdefg Nov 22, 2007

    The story was wrong. The three subjects did not know the bank robber. He dropped money while running into Dominos pizza. Avery found the money and the other two saw Avery find the money. So he gave them some of the cash.

    Poor idiots did not realize "finders Keepers" can be a federal offense.....

  • BLOCKHEAD Nov 22, 2007

    Birds with feathers flock together's

  • WRALSUCKS Nov 22, 2007

    Good job! Another loser behind bars!

  • WRALSUCKS Nov 22, 2007

    Another loser behind bars.... good going!

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