Dillard charged in six 'bicycle bandit' holdups

Virginia

Southeast / Virginia 48 Views

The man suspected of being last week's Bicycle Bandit has been charged in connection with all six of a string of robberies and attempts, police said Thursday morning.

Obadiah Savoy Dillard, 40, was charged in the heists, which began Aug. 1, Gainesville police spokesman Ben Tobias reported in a media release.

According to Dillard's arrest report, he walked into the Wells Fargo bank at 1717 NW 13th St. Wednesday afternoon about 1:30 p.m., his head and face covered with a mask. He wore gloves and held a multi-colored bag, the report said.

He told a bank teller "Put it down or I am going to blow this place up," as he reached for a customer's wallet. The customer pulled away from him, the report said, and Dillard left on a bicycle, no longer wearing the mask.

A worker at Georgetown Apartments saw a man riding a bike quickly through the complex, but said the man hadn't left the complex. Police zeroed in on the apartment where Dillard's sister lives and she allowed police to search the apartment. Polie found the multi-colored bag, gloves and other clothes they say he wore during the attempted holdup.

During an interview with police, Dillard told them he needed the money to pay for his medication, and contended that because he didn't get any  money, he couldn't be charged with robbery.

They charged him with attempted robbery and threatening to use a destructive device, the arrest report shows.

Dillard was charged in 2009 for robbing one of the same locations, a credit union on East University Avenue, and served prison time, Tobias said Wednesday.

The other five robberies or attempts include:

• An attempted robbery at Alliance Credit Union, 412 E. University Ave., on Aug. 1.

• Later that day, police believe the same same man robbed the CVS at 311 SW 13th St. The robber entered the store, demanded cash and threatened to kill a cashier if a cash register was not opened. The man took the money and ran.

• Police say the man robbed another CVS, on North Main Street, on Saturday.

• Sunday, the bicycle bandit robbed an O’Reilly Auto Parts store at 1208 E. University Ave. He entered the store at 7:27 p.m. and said he had a gun, according to GPD.

• Monday evening, he robbed the Family Dollar at 508 NE 23rd Ave. by reaching over the counter and grabbing cash out of the till, police say.

After each of the robberies, police say Dillard pedaled away on a bicycle. Dillard was held in the county jail Thursday morning. Bond hadn't been set.

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