Pregnant woman accused of robbing south Austin bank didn’t make it far

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Stephanie Benavides (Austin Police Department Photo)_563320

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Police say 23-year-old Stephanie Benavides, accused of robbing a south Austin bank last week, only made it a few blocks before she was pulled over by an officer.

A 911 call reporting the robbery brought officers to the Chase Bank at 701 E. Stassney Ln., just west of Interstate 35, at 9:22 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 13.

The caller walked into the bank and saw the suspect pointing a gun at a bank teller and saw two people lying on the ground. He quickly backed out of the bank before the suspect saw him and drove across the street where he called 911.

He then told police the suspect was getting into a sedan with tape over the license plate and driving away.

An Austin officer caught up to Benavides, who police say turned onto the southbound service road of I-35 and came to a stop in the middle of the road near Little Texas Lane.

The officer, with a gun trained on the suspect vehicle, said it appeared Benavides was taking off clothing inside the car.

Benavides pulled into the driveway of Capitol Chevrolet before she was taken into custody. Once under arrest, she told officers she was 33 weeks pregnant and was having stomach pain. Austin-Travis County EMS then took her to South Austin Medical Center for an evaluation.

Police later found a toy gun painted black and clothing used by the robbery suspect, along with the cash taken during the robbery.

According to a police affidavit, Benavides confessed to an FBI agent she robbed the bank because she needed money to get her boyfriend out of jail.

Benavides was charged with robbery by threat, a second degree felony, with bond set at $35,000. She is not currently listed as being in the Travis County Jail.

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