On Wednesday night, the FBI captured a fugitive suspected of being the ringleader of a prolific Los Angeles armored car robbery ring.
James Russell Davis, one of at least seven suspected robbers involved in the heists, was arrested in Rancho Cucamonga less than a week after law enforcement published their search, said Donald Alway, deputy director in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles office. Angels. field office. Authorities spread the image of him and characterized him as the mastermind behind a year-long series of carefully planned armored car robberies carried out with assault rifles.
The robbery team has stolen more than $500,000, according to the FBI.
A federal arrest warrant has been issued for Davis, 34, after he was charged last month in a federal criminal complaint with conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery.
An alleged accomplice, Deneyvous Hobson, 36, was arrested on February 21. At least five others are believed to be part of the “Chesapeake Bandits,” so named because investigators say they masterminded the holdups at a home on Chesapeake Avenue. in the West Adams neighborhood of Los Angeles, remain at large.
A video of one of the heists shows masked bandits wielding weapons, including an AR-style rifle with a short barrel, an optical sight and a large, extended magazine.
The bandits forced the security guards to the ground at gunpoint, tied them up and took the bags of money before fleeing.
Announcing a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of any of the suspects last week, Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore said detectives investigating the armored car robberies had found connections between the crimes, which were committed at several banks last year in Hawthorne, Inglewood and Los Angeles.
Alway said the bandits would conduct surveillance at the locations, using multiple vehicles and personnel. The group had drivers who would remain in their vehicles during the robberies, he said.
Three weeks before the first holdup, at a credit union in Hawthorne, two men, believed to be Hobson and Davis, were seen in a white Chevrolet Tahoe “for about an hour while a prospective victim, JG, an employee of Sectran Security, Inc., driver—parked his armored car and picked up cash” from ATMs, according to the criminal complaint.
A bank employee noticed the men and called the police. A police officer questioned the two, who provided identification with the same Chesapeake Avenue address, according to an affidavit filed with the complaint.
“Three weeks later, exactly—and almost exactly the same minute—…JG was robbed while picking up cash from the same” ATMs, FBI Special Agent Elizabeth Cárdenas said in the affidavit.
The robbers were three men who used what appeared to be an AR-15 rifle and a handgun during the robbery, authorities said. They stole the guard’s gun and about $100,000.
The crew allegedly carried out a similar robbery half a mile away in Inglewood on June 9 and stole nearly $93,000, authorities said. A vehicle matching the description of Davis’ Tahoe was “seen leading a getaway car within 30 minutes of the theft on a nearby Ring camera.”
According to court records, Hobson has prior convictions for robbery and assault with a deadly weapon, and Davis has convictions for receiving stolen property and possessing burglary tools.
At least five other people believed to be part of the Chesapeake Bandits have yet to be identified. You can see surveillance photos of them. on the FBI website.
Anyone with information is urged to call the FBI with a tip. A reward of up to $25,000 is being offered for information leading to an arrest in the case.