Alleged bank robber escapes pursuit
Published 4:27 am Wednesday, May 24, 2000
By By John Wallace
Seven hours after searching a wooded area near Flomaton for an alleged bank robber, area law enforcement officials went home empty-handed Thursday night.
Flomaton Police Chief Bob Hicks said the search began at approximately 2:30 p.m. when an Escambia County (Ala.) Sheriff's Deputy spotted alleged bank robber Constantine Demetrius Burt entering a manufactured home. Unfortunately for law enforcement officials, Burt also spotted the deputy and fled.
"He ran into the woods behind Fred's Bar, also known as Crow's Bar," Hicks said of Burt, who is wanted for questioning concerning bank robberies in Century and Troy.
Officers began pursuing the suspect immediately with tracking dogs from the Century (Fla.) Correctional Facility.
"He went into a swampy area," Hicks said. "I think he was trying to get back into the backwoods in Century where he lives."
Hicks said several law enforcement agencies helped with the manhunt, including officers from the Flomaton Police Department, Escambia County (Ala.) deputies, Escambia County (Fla.) deputies and an Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agent.
Burt was spotted several times during the search, which required officials to bring in fresh tracking dogs three separate times.
"We had plenty of people over there," Hicks said. "That sucker is pretty slick."
Burt eluded officers until approximately 9:30 p.m. when the manhunt ended. However, the alleged bank robber lost several articles of clothing during the chase.
Hicks said a pair of shoes were found during the manhunt that is believed to belong to Burt. He said an eyewitness reported spotting Burt after he had also discarded his shirt.
"One witness said he saw him and he was down to just a pair of red shorts. So, he apparently had lost his white T-shirt," Hicks said.
Despite the disappointment of not capturing Burt, law enforcement officials remain optimistic about eventually catching up to the alleged bank robber.
"The law enforcement effort was 100 percent on all sides," Hicks said. "He's very unusual. I think he can flat outrun a dog.
"Eventually we will get him," he added. "We've caught him before."
Burt is no stranger to manhunts and eluding them. He was the subject of a manhunt near Troy earlier this year after the Regions Bank there was hit by armed robbers.
The suspect in the armed robbery, believed to be Burt, was able to elude law enforcement officers for several days during a similar manhunt.
Burt, who is described as a 26-year-old black male, standing 6-0 tall and weighing 160 pounds, is also wanted by the FBI for kidnapping and is being sought for questioning regarding the armed robbery of Whitney Bank in Century.
Authorities said Burt is to be considered "armed and dangerous."
Hicks said anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Burt should contact local law enforcement officials. He said citizens should not attempt to apprehend Burt.