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Press Release

Richmond Man Who Led Officers on High-Speed Car Chase Pleads Guilty to Southside Plaza Carjacking

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

RICHMOND, Va. – A Richmond man pleaded guilty today to a carjacking.

According to court documents, on August 6, 2022, Keith Travers, 37, and an accomplice met with the victim at Southside Plaza in Richmond, purportedly to sell the victim a catalytic converter. However, Travers and his accomplice had driven to the meeting with no catalytic converters to sell. When the victim realized this and turned to leave, Travers’s accomplice stated, “you know what this is, give me your wallet, keys and your phone.” In response, the victim reached for the gun he was carrying on his right hip. As the victim was doing so, Travers pointed a gun at the victim’s head and exclaimed, “don’t lose your life over this.” 

Fearing that Travers was about to shoot him, the victim turned his gun over to Travers’s accomplice, who then pointed it at the victim. The victim also handed over his business wallet, car keys, and work cell phone. There was between $5,000 and $6,000 in the wallet when he handed it to Travers’s accomplice. Travers’s accomplice then drove off in the victim’s car and Travers left in the car he had driven to the carjacking. 

On August 19, 2022, officers of the Richmond Police Department attempted to arrest Travers for the carjacking. He was in the same car he had driven to the Southside Plaza robbery. When Travers saw the officers, he accelerated suddenly, leading the officers on a pursuit for nearly an hour. Eventually, Travers abandoned his car and fled on foot. As the officers were closing in on him, Travers threw a Taurus 9mm semi-automatic pistol under a nearby vehicle. The gun was the same firearm Travers used during the carjacking on August 6, 2022.

Travers is scheduled to be sentenced on March 20, 2024. He faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Jessica D. Aber, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Stanley M. Meador, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Richmond Field Office; and Rick Edwards, Chief of Richmond Police, made the announcement after U.S. District Judge David J. Novak accepted the plea.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Miller is prosecuting 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. 3:23-cr-38.

Updated October 24, 2023

Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime