Local News

Durham Bank Robbery Suspect Arrested After 30-Mile Chase

Posted October 20, 2005 8:26 a.m. EDT

— A Durham bank robbery suspect was arrested Wednesday morning following a 30-mile chase that ended in Wake County and caused an estimated $4,000 damage to a police vehicle.

Durham police said Eddie Gamble, 57, of Durham, walked into Coastal Federal Credit Union at

4711 Hope Valley Road

, Wednesday morning, demanded money and fled with an undisclosed amount in a white van.

Police said Gamble, who was armed with a box cutter, also robbed two people in the bank of their wallets and forced three people to go to the back of the bank.

A few minutes after the alleged robbery, a police officer spotted a white Ford Econoline van on South Roxboro Street and attempted to stop it, but authorities said the driver, later identified as Gamble, sped away.

Eyewitnesses said vehicle speeds reached between 65 and 75 mph in downtown Durham.

Officers then chased the van onto N.C. Highway 98 to Southview Drive, where it then circled around on Kemp Road and went back on to N.C. 98.

Investigators said Gamble then struck a Durham police vehicle, causing approximately $4,000 damage to the patrol car, but both vehicles continued down N.C. 98 into Wake County.

"The officer was not injured," said Capt. D.C. Allen, with the Durham Police Department. "The chase continued and the officer was able to continue with the pursuit until another officer was able to take control of the pursuit."

Once the van entered Wake County, the North Carolina Highway Patrol began chasing the suspect. Authorities said Gamble eventually lost control of the vehicle on N.C. 98 near U.S. Highway 1 after stop sticks, put out by troopers, caused one of the van's tires to deflate.

Police said Gamble then jumped out of the van and ran about 300 yards into a wooded area on an eastbound off-ramp. A Durham K-9 unit found Gamble hiding under a woodpile near a logging road.

Gamble, also on probation for an assault last year, was charged with two counts of robbery with a deadly weapon, one count of bank robbery, three counts of first-degree kidnapping and numerous traffic charges. WRAL also learned that Gamble was released from federal prison in June for robbing a bank and also served time two prior bank robbery convictions.

He was taken to Duke University Medical Center for treatment of a dog bite. He was later transferred to jail.