Plumbers chase down robbery suspect, retrieve stolen money

Published: Jul. 8, 2013 at 5:20 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 8, 2013 at 5:23 PM EDT
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NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A strong armed robbery suspect came up empty handed after three plumbers chased him down and retrieved the stolen money outside a North Charleston bank.

On Friday afternoon, the North Charleston Police Department responded to the Wells Fargo on 5561 Rivers Ave. in response to a strong armed robbery.

The victim said he was carrying bank deposit bags and preparing to enter Wells Fargo when he felt a tug on the bags. Police say the victim turned around and saw a man who grabbed the bank bags and took off on foot.

According to investigators, Christopher Rutkowski, Christian Taylor Allen Chaplin and Jervy Leonard Chaplin, who all work for a plumbing company and had come to cash their paychecks, saw the incident and attempted to catch the suspect.

An incident report states Rutkowski chased the suspect in his truck, while both Chaplins chased the suspect on foot. At one point during the chase, Rutkowski said he was able to block the suspect at a dead end road, at which time the suspect dropped the bank bags.

Authorities say the suspect then pushed away from Rutkowski's truck and took off on foot.

The victim said he conducted an inventory of the recovered money and found that all the money had been recovered.

The suspect is described as a black male between 20 and 30 years old, 6-foot tall, thin build, possibly having a thin beard or facial hair and dressed in blue jeans and a light blue color shirt that says "Carolina Tar Heal Blue." 

The victim told investigators that he believed a second suspect was waiting in a gray or silver late model, possibly a 1998 Lincoln Continental. According to the victim, he saw the vehicle circling the parking lot, and was no where to be seen when investigators arrived.

If you have any information you are asked to call police or Crime Stoppers at 554-1111.

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