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Guilderland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, June 5, 2008

Flat tire halts fleeing suspect

GUILDERLAND — Following a high-speed chase, police caught up to robbery suspect James Spears on Saturday after his car got a flat tire.

Earlier in the day, Spears had walked unarmed into the Berkshire Bank at 1704 Western Ave. in Guilderland and demanded cash from an employee, according to Guilderland Police.  He walked away with $2,700 without using force, said Investigator Charles Tanner.

Spears, a plumber from Watervliet, left the bank in a black BMW convertible, according to police.  A description of his car was broadcast regionally to police agencies and his car was seen by Colonie Police soon after.  When officers tried to stop him, Spears “took off at a high rate of speed,” says a release from the Guilderland Police Department.

“This pursuit continued through the Town of Colonie, through Menands, South on Interstate 787,” before ending in Albany, the release says.  After a tire on Spears’s car went flat, “He couldn’t control the vehicle anymore,” Tanner said.

Spears then left the car and, after a short chase on foot, he was arrested by Albany Police and turned over to Guilderland officers who charged him with third-degree robbery and fourth-degree grand larceny.

He was remanded to Albany County’s jail without bail, the release says, and, according to Tanner, the investigation is ongoing.

— Saranac Hale Spencer 

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