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Armored Car Attack ‘Accident’--Fugitive : Crime: ‘Catch me if you can,’ suspect in shooting allegedly tells a police officer by telephone after refusing to surrender.

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TIMES STAFF WRITER

In a telephone conversation with police, a fugitive suspected of critically wounding an armored car driver outside a 7-Eleven last week said the shooting was “an accident” but refused to turn himself in, according to police records released Monday.

“Catch me if you can,” the man allegedly dared police.

The conversation is one of many new disclosures contained in a voluminous investigative report filed by Garden Grove police in Orange County Municipal Court on Monday as attorneys were appointed for two other suspects and they were assigned an arraignment date.

The report reveals for the first time that the driver was carrying $185,400 at the time of the attack. It paints the crime as a classic inside job, plotted up to five days ahead of time by a fired and disgruntled employee of the armored car company.

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Investigators say the robbery was botched and the suspects fled the scene without any money. John G. Statkus, 24, of Fullerton, who was shot four times, remained in critical condition Monday at UCI Medical Center in Orange.

Statkus had just restocked an automated-teller machine at a 7-Eleven in Garden Grove with cash when he was attacked, witnesses said. It was one of three stops he was to make on his route, working alone in an armored vehicle.

Two suspects--Thomas Anthony Chaney, 28, and Gilbert Orlandes Green, 22, both of Ontario--have been arrested on charges of attempted murder and robbery, but their arraignment was delayed Monday for a week. Police were able to trace them through a license plate jotted down by a witness.

The third suspect, 25-year-old Mark Anthony Blount of Pomona, who has several past convictions for drug offenses, is still being sought by police, Garden Grove Detective Marty Donahue said Monday. Police suspect that Blount was the gunman.

Hours after the attack last Thursday morning, Blount’s mother told investigators at her apartment in Pomona that her son had told her he thought he had killed someone, but that she wasn’t sure where he was, the report filed Monday said.

After learning that Blount carried a beeper, investigators asked the mother to call her son. She obliged and Blount called her back. The mother then turned the phone over to Donahue, who told Blount that they suspected his involvement in the crime.

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“It was an accident, I didn’t mean to do it,” Blount said, according to the report.

But when Donahue then tried to get Blount to turn himself in, the suspect said: “Catch me if you can.”

Green and Chaney, in interviews that police describe as often contradictory and self-serving, also maintain that they never meant to hurt anyone.

According to the police account of an interview with Green, the original plan called for Statkus to be knocked out and handcuffed, while the three men drove the armored vehicle to another location and took the money.

Police maintain that Blount pushed Statkus into the van after he had made his stop at the 7-Eleven teller machine and then shot him. The three suspects then split up and fled without taking any money, Donahue said.

Inside the van, in separate duffel bags, vaults, cartridges and other containers, was a total of $185,400 in cash, according to the police report. Statkus had $202,000 at the start of his run that day--a typical day--but had deposited some at his first stop.

The police report maintains that the suspects were well aware of this daily pattern. “It was apparent that Chaney knew the specific workings of the company and had passed on that information to Green and Mark,” Donahue wrote.

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In fact, as a former Wells Fargo driver, Chaney acknowledged that he “had done that same route” as Statkus and knew the stops he would be making, Donahue wrote after interviewing the suspect. And after he was fired, Chaney stole map routes that would aid them in their robbery scheme, according to the police account of their interview with Green.

According to the police account, Green alleged that Chaney had been fired earlier this month from Wells Fargo for stealing--or “overdrawing”--several thousand dollars on his routes on at least two occasions.

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