2 Harrisburg men arrested in Mifflin County bank robbery and high-speed chase

BURNHAM, MIFFLIN COUNTY, Pa.–Two men are facing charges after police say they robbed a bank in Mifflin County and then lead officers on a high-speed chase spanning three counties on Monday afternoon.

Shariff Layton, 38 and Jamal Cooper, 28, both from Harrisburg, are each charged with robbery, aggravated assault, theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property, recklessly endangering another person and fleeing or attempting to elude officers. The pair were arraigned Monday and taken to Mifflin County Prison in lieu of $1,000,000 bail each.

Officers responded to the Juniata Valley Bank on South Logan Boulevard in Burnam around 12:45 p.m. Monday for a reported bank robbery.

According to the criminal complaint, the bank manager was on the phone with a customer when two masked men, later identified as Layton and Cooper, entered the bank. The quick-thinking manager asked the customer to call 911 to report the robbery, according to court documents.

The robbers approached a bank teller and and demanded money. After getting an undisclosed amount of cash–the pair fled the scene in a Jeep with Maryland registration, police said. Officers caught up with the vehicle at the Sunoco on Electric Avenue–but the driver refused to stop and a chase ensued on Route 322 eastbound through Mifflin, Juniata and Perry counties.

State police used tire deflation devices and police vehicles to make the suspects stop. Police say the suspect’s vehicle drove toward two troopers and their vehicles.

Both Layton and Cooper were taken into custody and checked out by EMS at the scene.

Police say the vehicle used by the suspects had been rented by Layton’s girlfriend. Most of the money stolen during the robbery was recovered inside the vehicle and on Layton and Cooper’s person.

A gun was also recovered on Ort Valley Road, just prior to the Route 322 eastbound on-ramp. Police say the gun appeared to have been thrown from a moving vehicle and had been reported stolen from Harrisburg City.

The FBI will assume the investigation from the Mifflin County Regional Police Department, meaning Layton and Cooper will face federal charges.

Mifflin County Regional Police were assisted by Granville Township Police, Lewistown Borough Police, State Police-Lewistown, State Police-Newport, Newport Ambulance, FAME EMS and State College and Harrisburg FBI offices.