A woman who allegedly robbed a northern Cobb County bank led police on a 25-mile chase that reached up to 120 mph Monday morning. When she crashed and flipped her vehicle, things came to standstill on a busy stretch of interstate.
That’s because the woman, identified late Monday as Ancily Faye Green, 39, of Dallas, told employees at the SunTrust bank on Mars Hill Road that she had explosives, according to Cobb County police. Investigators took that threat seriously and temporarily closed all lanes of I-75 to search the suspect’s vehicle, but didn’t find explosives.
For about an hour and a half, all lanes of I-75 were closed at Mount Paran Road, backing up traffic in both directions in Fulton and Cobb counties, according to police. Green was taken into police custody, charged with armed robbery and booked into the Cobb jail Monday afternoon.
The heist created a headache for drivers heading to or from downtown Atlanta. Side streets quickly clogged up, too, as those who were able to exit the interstate looked for alternate routes.
Cobb County police Sgt. Dana Pierce said the incident started just before 11 a.m. with the robbery of the SunTrust Bank in the 1700 block of Mars Hill Road, near the Brookstone community.
Green allegedly walked into the bank and presented a note indicating that she was in possession of a bomb and demanded money, Cobb police said. She received an undisclosed amount of cash and left the bank in a black vehicle, witnesses told police.
Cobb County officers spotted Green’s vehicle, but she refused to stop and eluded police for several miles, Officer Mike Bowman said. From Mars Hill Road, officers followed Green over Dallas Highway, onto Lost Mountain Road, then left onto Macland Road, Bowman said. From there, the chase continued on Macland, passing Powder Springs Road, Austell Road, South Cobb Drive and Cobb Parkway, he said.
“With the assistance of City of Marietta, City of Smyrna and the Georgia State Patrol, we were able to keep traffic in the intersections controlled, therefore minimizing the potential of a crash or innocent people being seriously injured,” Bowman told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Cobb police and Georgia State Patrol troopers chased Green to Windy Hill Road and onto I-75 southbound, where speeds reached 120 mph during the chase, according to the state Department of Transportation.
The chase ended when Green crashed and her vehicle overturned on the bridge over Mount Paran Road. Because Green had claimed to have a bomb, investigators didn’t take any chances, calling in bomb technicians to examine the woman’s vehicle, police said. Atlanta police assisted with the investigation.
A state DOT spokeswoman initially reported that an explosive device had been confirmed, but later said the bomb squad was checking for a “possible explosive device.”
Just before 1 p.m., bomb technicians finished examining the overturned vehicle, and other police officers not wearing protective gear moved in closer to continue their investigation.
A few minutes later, northbound traffic that had been backed up at the West Paces Ferry Road exit was allowed to continue northbound past the wreck site. Southbound traffic began moving again about 1:30 p.m., although a couple of southbound lanes remained blocked.
All southbound traffic on I-75 was diverted onto I-285 for about an hour. Southbound traffic on I-75 backed up beyond Delk Road before lanes reopened at 1:30. At 1:15 p.m., a wrecker uprighted the overturned SUV, and about five minutes later, the wreckage was pulled onto the flatbed wrecker.