Crime

Man accused of Lexington bank robbery after crashing van

Police released the identity Wednesday of a bank-robbery suspect officers arrested within 15 minutes of a holdup in north Lexington.

The Forcht Bank branch at 506 West New Circle Road in front of Wal-Mart was robbed at 8:43 a.m. Wednesday. Minutes later, a dark green Plymouth van, which had been stolen, crashed at West Fifth Street and North Broadway, and the driver ran away.

Kelley E. Cox was arrested at the intersection of Toner Street and Harken Court, about a half-block east of the crash scene, police spokeswoman Sherelle Roberts said.

After he complained of chest pains, Cox was taken to University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital, Lexington police Lt. J.J. Lombardi said. Cox said the pain was the result of the collision.

He had not been charged Wednesday afternoon, but Roberts said he will face charges of robbery, driving under the influence, leaving the scene of an accident and unauthorized operation of a vehicle. Fayette County court records list different birth years for Cox; he is either 29 or 30.

Events leading up to the arrest unfolded quickly.

"The individual had implied he had a weapon and demanded cash," Lombardi said. "The teller complied, he left and they sounded the alarm. We got a description on the individual."

An off-duty police officer saw a van matching the description of the robber's vehicle pulling out of the parking lot of the Catalina Motel on New Circle Road. The van headed south on Broadway and crashed at Fifth.

Some cash was recovered on Cox, but Lombardi did not know how much was taken. "Right now it's undetermined. It was a bag full of cash," he said.

Roberts said police also are trying to determine whether Cox was the man who shoplifted some beer and cigarettes and took cash from an employee shortly before 5 a.m. Wednesday at the Shell gas station at 435 West New Circle Road.

Court records indicate that Cox pleaded guilty in 2009 to an amended charge of misdemeanor theft by unlawful taking.

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