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Suspected bank robber responsible for I-75 shutdown now in custody

The alleged bank robber who caused Thursday's car-to-car search on Interstate 75 is now in custody.

According to 11 Alive, Thomas Lagano, 23, turned himself in to Jasper County sheriff's officials after police identified him as a suspect. Police were able to identify Lagano from bank surveillance photographs and a fingerprint left by Lagano. He is being held on a $25,000 bond at the Cobb County Jail for robbing a Wachovia Bank on Windy Hill Road on Thursday.

According to WSB, Cobb County police first attempted to catch Lagano by conducting a car-to-car search on Interstate 75 that shut down southbound lanes.

The reason for a car-to-car search you might ask? According to WSB:

During the robbery, a bank teller slipped a tracking device into the bag. Using the device's transmission, police concluded the robber was in a vehicle headed south on Interstate 75.

Officers on foot conducted a car-to-car search but in the end had no suspect, thousands of angry commuters and a police chief who wondered why his commanders had resorted to such a tactic at that time of day.

Also reported by WSB, Cobb County police spokesman Dana Pierce says either the device quit working or Lagano disabled the device during the search. Pierce admits that the tactic was a big mistake.

"Given the same set of circumstances, I don't think we would do the same thing again," Pierce said.

Let's hope not. Atlanta has enough traffic problems without police-mandated car-to-car searches during rush hour traffic.



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