SANTA ANA, California – Two men who participated in a series of armed bank robberies attributed to the “Bladed Bandit” because one of the robbers brandished a large knife each have pleaded guilty in federal court to multiple counts of armed robbery.
Chad Dupape, 29, of Fountain Valley, and Vincent Edward Wilson, 53, of Long Beach, pleaded guilty Monday to committing the robberies.
During a hearing in United States District Court, Dupape admitted to committing four armed bank robberies and attempted bank robberies:
a January 2 robbery of a Chase Bank branch in Seal Beach in which he obtained more than $21,000;
a January 16 attempted robbery of a Farmers & Merchants Bank branch in Long Beach;
a January 16 attempted robbery of a Wells Fargo Bank branch in Fountain Valley; and
a January 18 robbery of a U.S. Bank branch in Fountain Valley.
When he pleaded guilty on Monday, Dupape admitted that during one of those robberies, he had displayed a knife, and during another, he had shown a black handgun to the teller.
Wilson pleaded guilty to the Chase Bank and U.S. Bank robberies, admitting that he had driven Dupape to both of those robberies and that he had acted as the look-out for the Chase Bank robbery.
Each of the armed bank robbery charges carries a statutory maximum penalty of 25 years in federal prison, meaning that Dupape could be sentenced to as much as 100 years in prison.
The two men pleaded guilty before United States District Judge David O. Carter, is scheduled to sentence Dupape on August 20 and Wilson on November 10.
The investigation into the string of robberies by the “Bladed Bandits” was conducted by the Orange County Bank Robbery Apprehension Team (BRAT), which includes special agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and deputies with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. Officers from the Long Beach Police Department, the Seal Beach Police Department, and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department provided substantial assistance during the investigation.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Charles E. Pell of the Santa Ana Branch Office.