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Father, son charged in robbery.

Byline: Jack Moran The Register-Guard

A California man told investigators that he was armed with a .45-caliber handgun when he stole several thousand dollars in cash from a north Eugene bank on Monday afternoon, a police detective wrote in a sworn affidavit.

According to police, they arrested the suspect, Robert Allen Little, and his son after the pair led police on a vehicle pursuit immediately after the holdup at a Pacific Continental Bank branch at 2021 River Road.

The 10-minute chase ended when the car stopped on Interstate 5 just north of Randy Pap Beltline.

Little and his son were charged Tuesday in Lane County Circuit Court with first-degree robbery in connection with the heist. Both also face charges of attempting to elude police, reckless driving and hit-and-run driving, court records show.

Police allege that Little's son, Matthew John Little, drove the 1993 Toyota Tercel that served as the would-be getaway car after his father robbed the bank.

A police officer who happened to be in the area of the robbery tried to stop the Tercel after he saw it leaving a car wash adjacent to the bank.

The pursuit, which began near the River Road/Beltline interchange, continued onto I-5 and Interstate 105 before it concluded.

The Tercel reached speeds in excess of 100 mph during the chase, Eugene police Detective Tony Veach wrote in a sworn affidavit filed with the court. The car also traveled along highway shoulders to pass other cars and at one point crashed into and damaged a U.S. Postal Service vehicle, Veach wrote.

Matthew Little, 31, told investigators that he sped away from police because he "thought police officers might shoot him," Veach wrote.

Matthew Little claimed he did not realize his father had robbed the bank until afterward, Veach wrote.

Robert Little, 54, admitted to investigators that he had robbed the bank while carrying a .45-caliber semiautomatic handgun, but he claimed the weapon was not loaded at the time, Veach wrote.

Detectives recovered the money that Robert Little allegedly stole after demanding cash from two bank tellers, according to Veach's affidavit.

A police spokeswoman said the Littles are believed to be residents of California City, Calif., north of Los Angeles. They are being held in the Lane County Jail.
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Title Annotation:Local News; A detective says the elder admitted he was carrying an unloaded handgun at the time of the bank heist
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:May 25, 2011
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