A California man who had a side job as a male model has pleaded guilty to a robbery charge stemming from a robbery spree that saw him hit a gas station and a bank in Greenwich, Conn., and steal a car in Westchester before leading police on a cross-country pursuit.
David E. Byers, 35, of Solana Beach, California pleaded guilty in court in Hartford on Tuesday, according to John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut.
Byers was arrested in May and charged with robbing the same bank in Greenwich twice, and also holding up a gas station as well over the span of a couple days in April.
According to court documents, on April 19 Byers robbed a gas station in Nesconset on Long Island while wearing a bandana over his face and displaying what appeared to be the handle of a gun, making off with $300. The next day, he robbed a Chase Bank branch in Stony Brook of $2,107, Durham said.
Byers then moved on to locations in Greenwich, robbing a Citgo gas station of $223 on April 24, according to court documents. The next day, again wearing a bandana over his face, he robbed a Chase Bank branch in Greenwich of $8,722, according to police. Byers returned to the same Chase Bank branch the next day and robbed it again, this time making off with $3,391, according to police.
Greenwich Police spotted Byers driving on April 28, and attempted to apprehend him, but he sped away before eventually abandoning his car on I-95 and escaping police on foot, police said. he then stole a car in Port Chester placed a stolen license plate on it, and headed to California, according to police.
Pennsylvania State Police attempted to stop him in Pennsylvania by deploying a tire deflation device, but he was able to abandon his car and flee on foot, police said. He then stole a pickup truck with the keys in it, and stole Maryland license plates at a rest stop, and continued driving west.
He engaged Arizona State Police in a high-speed pursuit on May 1, before again abandoning his car and fleeing on foot. He was eventually arrested in San Diego on May 2.
Before he began his crime spree in Connecticut and New York, the muscular and heavily tattooed Byers had a side gig as a male model and was a hit on Instagram. A photographer friend who had been photographing him for a number of years said he had never indicated a criminal side.
Byers has been detained since his arrest, and is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 30, 2018. He faces maximum term of 20 years in prison.
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