Police: Gang member robs Walmart, leads high-speed chase

Suspect arrested after crashing car

GREENVILLE, PITT COUNTY - Police have identified a man accused of an armed robbery at a Greenville Walmart and leading officers on a high-speed chase until he wrecked his car.

According to the Greenville Police Department, 23-year-old Anthony Velasco, a validated Sureno-13 (SUR-13) gang member, is in custody and being questioned. A full list of charges will soon be released.

Investigators said Velasco, armed with a handgun, entered the Walmart on Greenville Boulevard at about 1:20 p.m. Friday. He then demanded money from employees working at the cash center in the front of the store, said police. He left with an undisclosed amount of money, according to investigators.

Witnesses were able to provide a description of the suspect and the vehicle he was driving. Police said they were able to quickly find Velasco and tried to pull him over on Greenville Boulevard.

But Velasco ignored the signals from officers and led them on a chase until he crashed his car into a cement pipe on the side of County Home Road near Trafalgar Square Apartments, police said. The car then caught fire.

Velasco ran on foot for about 600 feet before he was arrested, police said. He was not hurt in the wreck.

Police said they recovered a gun and cash at the scene of the crash.

The vehicle he was driving was stolen overnight Wednesday from Lucerne Court in Greenville, said investigators. He will be charged for that crime as well.

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