Gang Members Charged in Canyon Country Bank Robbery, Pursuit
SOUTH LOS ANGELES (KTLA) -- Three reputed Rollin’ 40s Crips gang members were charged Friday with robbing a Canyon Country bank then leading police on a high-speed chase as they threw cash out the car’s window, the District Attorney’s Office announced.

Phillip Ely, 29, Lavelle Mosley, 22, and Terion Lamarr Collins, 25, are scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon at San Fernando Superior Court, Department S, said Deputy District Attorney Moira Curry.

The three were charged with four counts each of second-degree robbery and one count each of kidnapping to commit another crime.

The complaint alleges street gang and gun use allegations against each defendant.

In addition, Ely is charged with evading an officer and auto theft with prior convictions.

The three, along with a fourth unnamed suspect who has not been arrested, allegedly robbed a Bank of America in Canyon Country shortly after 10 a.m. Wednesday.

Sheriff’s deputies began pursuing a dark-colored SUV reported to be the getaway car.

At several points, suspects threw money out the window of their SUV during a bizarre police pursuit from Santa Clarita to South Los Angeles on Wednesday.

The made-for-Hollywood chase began shortly after 10 a.m., when four armed men held up a Bank of America branch on Soledad Canyon in Santa Clarita.

They fled in a black Volvo SUV that had been reported stolen hours earlier, according to police.

As deputies from the L.A. County Sheriff's Department chased them on the 5 Freeway, two of the four suspects bailed out of the vehicle in Sylmar.

Deputies were able to arrest one of those suspects, but the search continues for the other.

Two other suspects stayed in the SUV, jumping from freeways to streets and back again as they wound their way through the San Gabriel Valley and Pasadena and then onward toward downtown L.A.

Leaving downtown, the driver looped west to MacArthur Park, then past the USC campus until arriving in South L.A., where the Volvo had been stolen.

When they got to South L.A., a suspect in the backseat was seen throwing handfuls of cash out the window.

Residents ran out to pick up the cash -- some even running into the street in front of pursuing police vehicles.

Police believe that the suspects were trying to block traffic by throwing the money.

"It's our neighborhood stimulus package!" one woman laughed as she watched the pandemonium unfold.

Kids were smiling like it was Christmas," added a neighbor.

Some compared the suspects to folk outlaw Robin Hood, known for robbing from the rich to give to the poor. But police tried to discourage such talk.

"Robin Hood is not how I would describe these guys," LAPD Cmdr. Andy Smith said. "It's just the worst side of human nature."

Police encouraged those who picked up cash to turn it in, saying it was a crime and they would try to use video footage to identify people who took it.

"I grabbed what I could and said, 'Wait a minute. What happened here?'" said Sal Rayas, who handed over the money to the police. "If I don't work for that money, it might as well be just like the crooks."

The suspects were finally stopped near Kansas and Vernon avenues at 11:23 a.m. when their SUV was boxed in by a silver truck.

Police said the suspects likely contributed to their own capture because the money throwing brought so many people out into the roadway.

Deputies immediately pulled both suspects out of the vehicle and took them into custody. A gun, knife and money bags were found inside the SUV.

A huge crowd of people began to surge toward the police cars, forcing deputies to call in additional units to push the crowd back.

Residents were clapping and waving at the suspects, and a news cameraman even rushed in to get a closer view.

LAPD officers in riot gear moved in to restore order. The crowd eventually dispersed and the suspects were taken away.