NEWBERRY — Deputies with the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office caught a bank robbery suspect Thursday morning on I-26 near the S.C. 219 exit thanks to inter-agency cooperation with the Richland County Sheriff’s Department and S.C. Highway Patrol.
Lt. Curtis Wilson with the Richland County Sheriff’s Department said 51-year-old Lyle Patrick Burnett entered a bank in the 9000 block of Two Notch Road just before 11 a.m. but something caused him to flee. Law enforcement was given an alert and initiated pursuit.
“We alerted agencies ahead of us, such as Irmo and Newberry, and alerted the S.C. Highway Patrol,” Wilson said.
Newberry County Sheriff Lee Foster said his deputies were able to position themselves and secure I-26 to keep Burnett from leaving the highway.
“We had the tactical ability and the technology through stop strips to keep the individual on the interstate highway and make sure he was taken into custody,” Foster said.
According to the NCSO, the section of I-26 westbound near S.C. 219 was closed so deputies could position themselves on exit ramps with tire deflation devices.
“The deputy closest to the suspect near S.C. Highway 773 correctly decided not to deploy the devices there due to heavy traffic at that time,” Foster said.
Had the tool been used then, there was a high likelihood innocent people would have their tires punctured as well, which would have caused other public safety concerns.
Instead, deputies closed the westbound portion of I-26 between exits 82 and 76 and deployed the devices closer to exit 76.
Burnett avoided the devices but ran off onto the shoulder of the road where he was apprehended without incident. I-26 westbound was closed for a short time while Burnett was taken into custody and the crime scene contained.
Wilson said Bennett will be charged with robbery/entering a bank with intent to steal, unlawful carry of a pistol, and failure to stop for blue lights and siren.
Bennett was transferred into the custody of Richland County Sheriff’s Department and transported back to Richland County.