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Press Release

Man Sentenced to Prison after String of Grocery Store Robberies

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Virginia

RICHMOND, Va. – A Richmond man was sentenced today to 11 years in prison for committing robberies at four commercial grocery stores over the course of four days before taking law enforcement on a high-speed car chase.

According to court documents, on November 20, 2020, Michael B. Bishop, 48, began his conduct after stealing a friend’s Ford F-150 truck. Over the next four days, Bishop robbed a Whole Foods Market in Glen Allen, a Wegmans in Henrico, a Trader Joe’s in Richmond, and a Publix in Midlothian. At each robbery, Bishop entered the grocery store wearing a face mask. Aside from the Whole Foods Market robbery, Bishop explicitly stated that he had a firearm or appeared to hold his hand in his pocket as if he had a firearm. At the Trader Joe’s robbery, Bishop brandished a firearm at the victim cashier. 

Based on witness interviews and review of surveillance video from Publix and Wegmans, investigators from Henrico, Richmond, and Chesterfield identified Bishop as the main suspect and obtained an arrest warrant. When law enforcement sought to arrest Bishop on November 25, 2020, Bishop entered the F-150 and took officers on a nearly 10-minute high-speed pursuit across several highways, including I-95 northbound and I-295 southbound. Bishop was only apprehended after officers used a pitting maneuver to stop the vehicle.

During an authorized search of the F-150 that Bishop was driving during the high-speed pursuit, law enforcement recovered clothing items matching those worn by the suspected robber as well as items in the bed of the truck that were notable from exterior surveillance at one of the grocery stores.

At the time of the robberies, Bishop was probation in Henrico County following time served for committing two robberies in 2013.

Jessica D. Aber, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia and Stanley M. Meador, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge M. Hannah Lauck.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kenneth R. Simon, Jr. prosecuted the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 3:21-cr-16.

Updated October 26, 2021

Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime