I-TEAM VIDEO: Police chopper chase after Tremont robbery

CLEVELAND -- The FOX 8 I-TEAM has obtained exclusive video of a police chase tied to an armed robbery in Tremont, and this chase comes with a surprise ending.

It happened late last month, however the video was just released to the I-TEAM.

Patrol cars spotted an SUV matching the description of one seen the night before when two men got held up at gunpoint off West 11th Street.

As officers on the ground started chasing the vehicle, the Cleveland Police helicopter picked it up.

For years, there’s been raging debate about how Cleveland Police chase bad guys. Generally, when the chopper’s up, the department wants the chopper to take the lead in the chase. Police said that’s safer than having their cruisers speeding in the streets.

But even with the chopper up, there’s no guarantee of an arrest.

In this case, the chase went on for more than 20 minutes on highways and side streets.

At times, the video shows, the chopper crew noticing that the wanted driver doesn’t seem to be aware he’s being followed from the air.

At other times, the driver kept going even as patrol cars try to box him in. And, even when he passes a patrol car coming toward him from the other direction.

Finally, the driver pulled over and ran in between some buildings.

Police on the ground scrambled there, and the chopper used a special camera to detect heat, but officers didn’t get their man.

Police later found one of those buildings was home to suspects wanted in a series of crimes. Now, they’re adding that Tremont hold-up to the list.

Investigators said, in a case like that, they can’t just immediately go kicking down doors of apartments.

They plan to go to a grand jury asking for felony charges -- a growing list of charges.

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