You are here

Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Central District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, May 4, 2020

High Desert Man Who Robbed Eight Southern California Banks During a Six-Week Spree Sentenced to Over 7 Years in Federal Prison

          LOS ANGELES – A San Bernardino County man who threatened to shoot tellers and others when he robbed eight banks in Southern California over a six-week span was sentenced today to 92 months in federal prison.

          Gregory Walter Barnes, 40, of Piñon Hills, was sentenced by United States District Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald, who also ordered Barnes to pay $41,931 in restitution.

          Barnes pleaded guilty on February 10 to one count of bank robbery.

          According to his plea agreement, between May 22, 2018 and July 6, 2018, Barnes, wearing a hat and sunglasses as a disguise, robbed one U.S. Bank branch in Victorville and seven Chase Bank branches in Fontana, Reseda, Woodland Hills, Temecula, Glendale, Hesperia, and Ventura.

          In all eight of those robberies, Barnes threatened to use a gun against the bank teller, other bank employees, or people in the bank branch’s lobby. For example, Barnes passed a handwritten note to one teller asking for money and saying, “If I even think that you are grabbing any [dye packs or GPS trackers] I’ll pull out [my] Gun,” according to court documents. During another robbery, Barnes told the bank teller, “I have a gun and will not hesitate to pull it out and use it on your fellow employee out here.”

          The total loss to the banks was $41,931 – most of which was suffered by Chase.

          Barnes’s bank robbery spree in Southern California was followed by a ninth bank robbery in Las Vegas on July 9, 2018, where he was arrested for that crime. For that robbery, Barnes was convicted and sentenced in Nevada state court to three to 10 years’ imprisonment. He was transferred to federal custody in December 2019 after being charged in this case.

          This matter was investigated by the FBI in collaboration with the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, the Fontana Police Department, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, the Los Angeles Police Department, the Glendale Police Department, and the City of Ventura Police Department, and with assistance from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

          This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Eli A. Alcaraz of the Riverside Branch Office.

Contact: 
Ciaran McEvoy Public Information Officer United States Attorney’s Office Central District of California (Los Angeles) (213) 894-4465
Press Release Number: 
20-072
Updated May 4, 2020