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Hotel robbery suspect was sought in Ala. armed robbery

July 12, 2010|By DAN DEARTH

Alabama authorities say a hotel robbery suspect who died in a wreck as he was being chased by police early Sunday was a suspect in another armed robbery earlier this month at a savings and loan in Alabama.

Gadsden (Ala.) Police Capt. Jeff Wright said Monday that Arthur Williams, 63, of Gadsden, was a suspect in the July 1 robbery of the Family Loan Co. in Gadsden.

A Gadsden police officer who notified Williams' wife of his death pulled Williams' photo from Alabama traffic records and noticed that he fit the description of the man who robbed the savings and loan, Gadsden Police Lt. Mike Garigues said Monday.

Wright said the officer then told an investigator, who pulled a still from the surveillance video and showed it to Williams' wife.

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"The wife identified Williams from the savings and loan," Wright said.

Williams was killed when his car left the roadway near the intersection of Saint Paul Road and U.S. 40 as he was being chased by Maryland State Police.

The chase began at about 4 a.m. Sunday when a state trooper recognized a car that matched the description of the vehicle that was used in an armed robbery at the Super 8 hotel in Hancock and an attempted armed robbery at the Sleep Inn hotel in Clear Spring.

Evidence of the Super 8 robbery and attempted robbery at the Sleep Inn were found in Williams' Cadillac, Cpl. Greg Alton, a detective with the Washington County Sheriff's Office, said Sunday. Video of the attempted robbery confirmed Williams was the suspect, Alton said.

A .38-caliber handgun and the money from the first hotel robbery at the Super 8 were recovered, Alton said. Duct tape also was found at the scene of the accident.

Alton said duct tape and a telephone cord were used to bind an employee and her daughter at the Super 8.

Wright said the robbery and attempted robbery in Maryland were similar to the armed robbery in Alabama. He said the robber in the Alabama case had a gun and used duct tape to bind the employees.

Wright said Williams was in poor health and had to undergo kidney dialysis twice a week.

Alton said Monday that items found in Williams' car showed he was in poor health. He declined to give further details.

Alton said Williams had an extensive criminal record in New York, including weapons and armed robbery charges.

"His (criminal) history goes back to 1971," Alton said.

Williams had been incarcerated in the New York Department of Correctional Services, Alton said, and was released most recently in July 2009.

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