Officials were searching early Monday for an armed-robbery suspect who allegedly led police on a car chase and then fled on foot after his vehicle hit a utility pole, knocking out power to about 5,000 Progress Energy customers.
The chain of events began about 10 p.m. Sunday with an armed robbery at the McDonald's on Durham Road in Wake Forest.
Wake Forest Police Chief Greg Harrington said that shortly after the robbery, Wake Forest officers stopped a red Ford Explorer with temporary tags on U.S. 1. A female passenger got out, but the driver took off, starting the chase.
Wake Forest police began the chase, reporting that the suspect came down Capital Boulevard to New Hope, then to New Bern and onto the Beltline. Raleigh police picked up the chase once the suspect got into the city.
Speeds topped out at 80 miles per hour. Police said they continued the chase because traffic was light.
According to reports, the suspect veered left of center coming down Sunnybrook Road, near WakeMed, and crashed into a utility pole at the corner of Sunnybrook and Falstaff, sending sparks flying. The suspect jumped out of the Explorer and ran.
Police and K-9 units reportedly were still searching the area after midnight. They said the man migh tstil lbe armed.A handgun and money were found near the suspect's vehicle.
Power was restored to all but 60 of the customers who had lost it when the utility pole came down around 1:30 a.m.
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