2 arrested in armed robbery of bank

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Waterbury men nabbed; shot was fired

Police secure the area out the Wells Fargo Bank at 66 Waterbury Road in Prospect on Saturday after the bank was robbed by two armed men. -QUANNAH LEONARD

PROSPECT — Two Waterbury men armed with handguns were arrested in a bank robbery off Waterbury Road on Saturday morning.

State police arrested Kevin Shuff, 21, of 21 Cliff St., and Terrance Phillips, 31, of 21 Taylor St., in the robbery at Wells Fargo Bank at 66 Waterbury Road.

Both were charged with first-degree robbery, third-degree larceny, first-degree kidnapping, first-degree reckless endangerment and interfering with police. Shuff also was charged with unlawful restraint, carrying pistol without a permit, criminal possession of pistol and threatening. Phillips also was charged with second-degree threatening and reckless driving.

They were being held later Saturday on a $500,000 bond to appear Monday in Waterbury Superior Court.

No one was injured in the incident, state police said.

At 9:57 a.m. state police responded to Wells Fargo after they received a bank alarm, followed by 911 calls from witnesses reporting a shot fired inside the bank during a robbery by two armed men, state police said in a release.

Two men, dressed in black, entered the branch, exposed their weapons and took control of the bank, State Police spokesman Lt. J. Paul Vance said. They demanded money, discharged a weapon and fled with an undisclosed amount of money, he said.

They took off in a black Chevrolet headed on Scott Road toward Waterbury, state police said. Troopers secured the bank, cordoning the parking lot off with yellow crime tape.

A physical description of the suspects was issued to troopers, local police and surrounding police departments.

A Prospect officer spotted the suspect vehicle as it fled the scene, state police said. The driver later lost control of the vehicle and went off the road. The men then fled on foot, state police said.

One man was immediately caught in Waterbury with assistance by Waterbury police. Additional troopers and town officers plus state police dogs responded to continue to search for the second suspect.

The second man doubled back into Prospect, running through backyards in the area of Williams Drive, state police said. Troopers caught him a short time later.

Both were in custody by 10:18 a.m., state police said.

Surrounding police departments also assisted including Cheshire and Wolcott. Wolcott Police Capt. Domenic Angiolillo stationed a cruiser on Meriden Road in case the getaway vehicle headed into Wolcott. He and a convoy of cruisers from other departments headed to Mattatuck Heights Road in Waterbury, and helped search the woods in the area, Deputy Chief Edward Stephens said.

State police recovered evidence discarded by the suspects at several different locations, Vance said.

At one location in Waterbury, four silver state police cruisers parked with lights flashing. Yellow tape secured what appeared to be a dark sweater lying on the ground and a dark hat snagged on a bush.

Vance said the money was recovered, and the suspect vehicle seized and taken to Troop I in Bethany.

Both men have a criminal record, according to the state Judicial Branch’s website.

Shuff was charged by Hartford police on Nov. 4, 2007 with first-degree robbery with firearm threat and conspiracy to commit first-degree robbery with firearm threat. He pleaded guilty and was later sentenced to serve 12 years jail, execution suspended after 33 months, probation three years on each count.

Phillips was charged by Waterbury police on Sept. 7, 2005, with carrying a pistol without a permit. He pleaded guilty and was later sentenced to serve two years in jail.

Andrew Larson contributed to this report.