Robbery suspects arrested near Cozad

A man and a woman wanted in connection with a string of robberies in Minnesota and South Dakota were taken into custody Monday in Nebraska after leading troopers on a short pursuit near Cozad.

Around 3:40 p.m., Monday a trooper observed a light colored Ford which matched the description of the vehicle wanted in the robberies traveling westbound on I-80 near the Lexington Interchange. The trooper and a backup trooper eventually initiated a traffic stop on Highway 30, but as the troopers approached, the vehicle sped off.

A short pursuit ensued and approximately two miles west of Cozad, the suspect vehicle experienced engine trouble and pulled to the side of the road.

The male driver of the vehicle, 24 year old Jarrod Birch and his 19 year old passenger Alyssa Beard, both of Virginia Beach, Virginia, were arrested. A search of the vehicle uncovered burglary tools and three handguns, the guns believed to have been used during recent robberies in Minnesota and South Dakota.

Birch was lodged in the Dawson County Jail on charges of felony flight to avoid arrest, willful reckless driving, felon in possession of a firearm, carrying a concealed weapon and possession of stolen property.

Beard, who is also listed as a missing person, was placed in the Dawson County Jail on charges of possession of stolen property and carrying a concealed weapon.

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