Suspected Bank Robber Nabbed in Limo

By: Brian Gregory Email
By: Brian Gregory Email

Knoxville (WVLT) - A strange getaway car for a suspected bank robber in West Knoxville today.

Police and the FBI tracked the suspect down on I-75 inside a limousine.

Mark Parsons, the owner of Chariots of Hire, says his company got a phone call for a pickup at a hotel off Peters Road around 11:30 this morning.

The limo arrived at about 12:15 and picked up one man, 50-year-old Thomas Phelan of Ohio.

Phelan's destination: Atlanta.

But before they could go far, Phelan had the limo driver stop at a convenience store off of Peters Road for snacks and beverages.

Parsons says from what he's been able to learn, someone saw Phelan and decided that he fit the description of a bank robber at the nearby Tennessee Members First Credit Union.

That credit union was robbed at gunpoint just before 11 a.m. by a white man in his 40s, wearing a black toboggan.

Knoxville Police spokesperson Darrell DeBusk says an off-duty officer was the person who spotted the suspect at the convenience store.

FBI spokesperson Gary Kidder says, officers and FBI agents tracked down the limousine on I-40, followed it south to I-75 and stopped the limo near the Lenoir City exit.

Phalen was taken into custody without incident.

According to Kidder, Phalen is being detained in connection with another bank robbery Youngstown, Ohio on December 6th.

Parsons says his driver was shocked when police pulled him over, but he's just glad everything turned out OK and no one was hurt.


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