Chadron, Nebraska (AP) — Police in Nebraska arrested five suspects Thursday in a South Dakota casino robbery, and officials say three of the men may have been involved in similar crimes in Montana and Wyoming.
While police searched for the suspects, roads leading in and out of Chadron were blocked all morning Thursday, and snipers were positioned atop buildings at Chadron State College. The college, public schools and many businesses closed as the Chadron Police chief urged people to stay off the streets.
Police Chief Jim Lordino said about 50 people were involved in the 14-hour manhunt, which started Wednesday night after an officer tried to stop the men traveling in a pickup stolen in Montana. The vehicle later was found abandoned in Chadron.
Four of the suspects were arrested shortly after noon on Thursday after police chased them into a neighborhood northwest of campus. The fifth man was captured a few blocks away.
Chadron police said officers seized a firearm and an undetermined amount of money.
Classes were canceled at Chadron State College, as well at schools in the Chadron, Hay Springs, Crawford and Gordon-Rushville districts.
„It’s not just the college, I mean all the city offices, courthouse and everything is closed,“ Chadron resident Con Marshall said Thursday before the men were caught. „Even the doughnut shop, jiminy Christmas.“
Chadron Police identified three of the men arrested as Jordan Adams, 19, and Jacob Kraus, 20, and Camille Adams, 21. Jordan Adams and Kraus walked away Monday from the Helena prerelease center, which houses inmates near the end of their sentences, according to the Montana Department of Corrections. Camille Adams was on probation in Anaconda, Mont., according to Montana officials.
The three are suspects in armed robberies at convenience stores in Butte and Columbus, Mont., on Tuesday and an armed robbery of a convenience store in Sheridan, Wyo., early Wednesday.
They were also among five suspects in Wednesday night’s armed robbery at the State Line Casino, which sits along U.S. Highway 385 near the border between Nebraska and South Dakota.
No injuries were reported in any of the robberies.
Chadron police on Thursday were trying to identify the other two men arrested after a lockdown shuttered the town of 5,600 people in Nebraska cattle country.
The five men were being held on suspicion of possession of stolen property, fleeing to avoid prosecution and possession of a defaced firearm, all felonies and all related to the casino robbery.
Jordan Adams had been serving a three-year sentence in Montana for an August 2006 robbery. He spent six months in prison before being placed in the prerelease center on Sept. 12. Kraus was serving a three-year term for a May 2006 burglary and arrived at the prerelease center on Aug. 22, state officials said.
Camille Adams was on probation for a 2004 robbery when he walked away from the Butte prerelease center in 2005. He was sentenced to two years for the escape and released in March to complete his probation.
„We’re thankful that this incident was brought to a conclusion without injury,“ said Mike Ferriter, director of the Montana Department of Corrections. „These individuals obviously posed a serious risk to the safety of the public.“