California Man Who Engaged in Robbery Spree and Fled Across the Country Pleads Guilty
John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that DAVID E. BYERS, 35, of Solana Beach, California, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Michael P. Shea in Hartford to a federal robbery charge stemming from an east coast robbery spree and subsequent cross country pursuit.
According to court documents and statements made in court, on April 19, 2017, BYERS, wearing a bandana over his face and displaying what appeared to be the handle from a handgun, robbed a Gulf gas station in Nesconset, N.Y., of $300. On April 20, he robbed a Chase Bank branch in Stony Brook, N.Y., of $2,107. On April 24, BYERS, wearing a bandana over his face and displaying what appeared to be a handgun, robbed a Citgo gas station in Greenwich, Conn., of $223. On April 25, again wearing a bandana over his face, he robbed a Chase Bank branch in Greenwich of $8,722. On April 26, BYERS returned to the Chase Bank branch in Greenwich and robbed it of $3,391.
On April 28, Greenwich Police saw BYERS driving a vehicle and attempted to apprehend him, but he drove away at a high rate of speed, subsequently abandoned the vehicle on I-95 and evaded police on foot. He then stole another vehicle in Port Chester, N.Y., placed a stolen license plate on the vehicle, and proceeded to drive to California.
Pennsylvania State Police attempted to apprehend BYERS in Pennsylvania by deploying a tire deflation device, but BYERS was able to abandon the vehicle and fled on foot. He then stole a pickup truck that had keys in it. At a rest stop, he stole Maryland license plates, put them on the truck and continued driving west.
On May 1, BYERS engaged the Arizona State Police in a high-speed chase before abandoning the vehicle and fleeing on foot.
BYERS was arrested in San Diego on May 2.
Judge Shea scheduled sentencing for January 30, 2018, at which time BYERS faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years. BYERS has been detained since his arrest.
This matter has been investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Greenwich Police Department, Suffolk County (N.Y.) Police Department, Pennsylvania State Police,, Arizona State Police and San Diego County Sheriff’s Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony E. Kaplan.