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  Illinois State Police News Release   

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Illinois State Police Apprehend Armed Robbery Offender in Cairo

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Press Release Date: May 16, 2014

Police Credit Collaborative Law Enforcement Resources, Technology & Intelligence

Du Quoin – Illinois State Police Officials today credited the good police work performed by several law enforcement agencies during an armed robbery at the First National Bank in Cairo, Illinois.

Police responded to a call of a robbery in progress at approximately 5:15 p.m. on Thursday, May 15, and discovered three female victims severely wounded in the employee break room of the First National Bank.  Preliminary investigative details revealed that an armed subject approached the female bank employees in the parking lot as the bank was closing.  The subject forced the female employees back inside the bank, where they were later discovered by Cairo police.  Anita J. Grace, 52, of Olive Branch, IL, and Nita J. Smith, 52, of Wickliffe, KY, suffered fatal stab wounds.  A 23 year old female employee, also stabbed, remains in critical condition.  Her name is not being released.

“While we commend the quick response of all of the officers and first responders, there are no words to express this tragic and senseless violence against these innocent victims and loyal employees,” said ISP Director Hiram Grau.  “We deployed every resource possible to quickly apprehend this offender and to ensure that the community and the public were safe,” Grau added.

The subject fled the scene south towards Missouri in a 2014 Buick SUV, which was later identified as one of the victim’s vehicles.  State Police used intelligence and technology to locate the vehicle on I-57, and followed the vehicle into Illinois, near the Canadian Northern Rail tracks. 

The subject abandoned the vehicle and fled on foot where he was located on top of a railroad trestle.  The subject was surrounded by officers from various agencies. Within 45 minutes, the subject was apprehended by ISP patrol officers and investigators, Alexander County deputies, and FBI agents.  The subject was armed with a semi-automatic handgun and remains in custody in Marion, Illinois.

Multiple agencies were involved in responding and securing the scene including Illinois State Police Districts 13, 22, and Zone 7 Investigations, ISP Crime Scene Services, ISP SWAT, ISP Air Operations, ISP Statewide Terrorism and Intelligence Center, Alexander County Sheriff’s Department, Cape Girardeau Police Department, Cairo Police and Fire Departments, Metropolis Police and Fire Departments, Pulaski County Police, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Ballard County, KY Sheriff’s Department, Kentucky State Police, and Missouri Highway Patrol.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms also participated in the investigation.

The matter remains under investigation with federal authorities.

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