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Orange County Focus

Countywide : Chase Ends in Arrest of Robbery Suspect

March 15, 1990|JIM GOMEZ

A San Diego man was arrested Wednesday afternoon in connection with a Bank of America robbery after he reportedly led police on a car chase from Orange to San Juan Capistrano.

Paul Leo Koenings, 39, was taken into custody by Orange police after he tried to ditch his 1972 Chevrolet Impala in a residential neighborhood near Ortega Highway, said Officer David R. Hill.

Koenings was held in the Orange County Jail on a single charge of robbery after he was questioned by police and FBI agents, Hill said. Federal robbery charges may be added .

Hill said a robber had walked into the Bank of America branch on Tustin Avenue in Orange at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday and handed a note to a teller, who turned over money. Hill said that he did not know what was written on the note and that no weapon appeared to be used.

The suspect then ran from the bank and drove off in a yellow car. But a passing police officer spotted him and began the pursuit, Hill said.

The fleeing driver got onto the Costa Mesa Freeway and, at speeds in excess of 100 m.p.h., led several squad cars and an Anaheim police helicopter to the southbound Santa Ana and San Diego freeways.

The California Highway Patrol also joined the chase.

Traffic during the pursuit was moderate, and no one was injured.

The suspect turned off the freeway at Ortega Highway and headed east into a residential area.

He stopped his car and began to run, Hill said, but police officers caught up with him and arrested him. A plastic bag containing $716 in cash was found in the car.

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