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Press Release

Manchester Man Sentenced to More Than 10 Years in Federal Prison for Stealing Over $165,500 in a Series of Robberies

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Hampshire

CONCORD – A Manchester man was sentenced today in federal court in Concord for Hobbs Act Robbery and Bank Robbery, U.S. Attorney Jane E. Young announces.

Hector Rivera Ayala, 34, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Steven McAuliffe to 130 months in prison and 3 years of supervised release. Rivera Ayala was also ordered to pay $171,677.37 in restitution. On April 18, 2023, Rivera Ayala pleaded guilty to Hobbs Act Robbery and Bank Robbery.

“The defendant’s brazen and repeated criminal conduct placed the lives of numerous people in jeopardy as he robbed gas stations and a bank,” said U.S. Attorney Jane Young. “As demonstrated by the sentence of more than a decade in federal prison, people who threaten, steal and place others in physical jeopardy will be removed from society for significant periods of time. The U.S. Attorney’s Office will continue to prioritize prosecuting and incarcerating violent offenders like the defendant in order to keep our communities safe.”

“Hector Rivera Ayala went on a robbery spree in Manchester, using what appeared to be a real firearm to threaten and intimidate his victims, to steal tens of thousands of dollars. Today’s significant sentence removes this dangerous individual from our community and highlights the tenacity of the FBI and our law enforcement partners to identify and apprehend criminals like him who threaten public safety,” said Jodi Cohen, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division.

“This man terrorized business owners in our city, threatening them with a weapon and putting them on edge,” said Chief Allen Aldenberg of the Manchester Police Department. “I am very pleased with Mr. Ayala’s sentence. It sends a strong message that this criminal behavior will not be tolerated in Manchester.”

In December 2019, Rivera Ayala robbed four gas stations and one bank in Manchester, including Rapid Refill on Second Street; Brother’s Express Gas Station on Union Street; Shell Gas Station on Eddy Road; Shell Gas Station on Hanover Street; and the Bank of New England on Elm Street.  Each robbery was captured on video surveillance.  For each robbery, the defendant was seen entering the gas station and bank with his face partially obscured and carrying what appeared to be a firearm. During the first robbery, at the Shell Gas Station on Eddy Road, the defendant approached the store clerk from behind and demanded money from both registers. He also ordered a customer to withdraw money from an ATM. During the second Shell Gas Station robbery, on Hanover Street, the defendant wore white face paint and used what appeared to be a double-barreled shotgun. He demanded money from the safe and registers and stole money and other items from customers who were present. One victim reported that the defendant threatened:

If you call the police within 30 minutes after I leave, I will come back and blow your brains out.

Investigators recovered a shawl and a BB gun from the crime scene of one gas station.  The defendant’s DNA was found on the shawl.  In total, the defendant stole more than $5,500 from the gas stations and more than $160,000 from the bank.  

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Manchester Police Department led the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Hunter prosecuted the case.


Updated November 29, 2023