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State News: West Duluth bank heist suspect attempts getaway in a taxi

An unusual getaway strategy couldn't help a suspected bank robber get away with robbing a West Duluth bank Tuesday.

Duluth police say a man told tellers he had a gun and robbed the Western Bank, at 201 N. Central Ave. in Duluth, just after 3 p.m. Tuesday. No weapon was displayed.

According to authorities, he then used a taxicab that was waiting for him to make his getaway.

Duluth police checked with local taxi companies and found one with a cab that matched the getaway cab's description. The cab was headed west to Cloquet.

The cab and its passenger were stopped by the Minnesota State Patrol on Interstate 35 near the Esko exit about 15 minutes after the robbery was reported. Officers from several law enforcement agencies responded and traffic on the interstate was backed up for some time.

A 36-year-old man was arrested in connection with the incident. The Duluth Police Department reported that the suspect had an outstanding warrant for bank robbery issued by Hennepin County.

No one was injured in the attempted robbery, Duluth Police Chief Gordon Ramsay said. The News Tribune generally doesn't name suspects until they have been charged in court.

A man reached at a phone number for Arrowhead Taxi identified himself as both the driver of the getaway cab and the owner of the company. He said he didn't know the suspect had robbed the bank. He declined further comment and refused to give his name.

Ramsay said he couldn't recall a suspect using a taxi in a getaway before in Duluth.

In 2004, a Duluth man was arrested on a Duluth Transit Authority bus after attempting to rob the Walgreens drug store at Miller Hill Mall.