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Robbery Suspect Arrested After Chase


A bank-robbery suspect led authorities on an 80-mile car chase from Santa Clarita to just north of Santa Barbara on Wednesday afternoon, throwing a bag of money and a shotgun out the window en route.

The man was identified after his arrest as Craig Brashear, 18, of Santa Paula, said Sgt. Bruce Sonnenblick of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

The 1 1/2-hour pursuit started at Home Savings on Valencia Boulevard at 2:24 p.m., when a man walked into the bank brandishing a shotgun, then fled north on the Golden State Freeway with about $2,000, sheriff's deputies said.

The fleeing car turned west onto California 126, with three sheriff's patrol cars and a helicopter following him.

Shortly after crossing into Ventura County, the suspect tossed a white bag of cash and a shotgun onto the highway from the moving car, Sheriff's Lt. Robert Elson said.

"Maybe he figured that if he threw it out that we would just pick up the stuff and let him go, I don't know," Elson said. "That happens all the time. It's hard to know what's going through their heads when they're being chased by the police."

The California Highway Patrol took over, as the suspect, who drove no faster than 70 m.p.h., headed north on U.S. 101, Elson said.

Witnesses said the driver turned off on California 217 but made a U-turn when he came to the UC Santa Barbara gate and headed back south on 101.

The fleeing car finally stopped just outside the Santa Barbara city limits and Brashear was taken into custody.

Times staff writer Alicia Di Rado and correspondent Patrick McCartney contributed to this story.

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