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Pair arrested in SoCal bank robbery spree

Pair arrested in SoCal bank robbery spree
Surveillance footage recorded a man attempting to rob a U.S. Bank branch at 1720 W. Olive Ave. in Burbank on April 20. (Courtesy of the Burbank Police Department)

A man and woman from Valencia are said to be responsible for a series of bank robberies across Southern California, including two in Burbank, according to authorities.

James Hamill, 27, was charged on Monday with six counts of robbery and two counts of attempted robbery by the Los Angeles County district attorney's office, while 22-year-old Samantha Yaworski was charged with one count of attempted robbery.

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The charges stem from a two-month bank robbery spree that began in March, according to Sgt. Derek Green, a spokesman for the Burbank Police Department.

Green said the spree reached Burbank on April 20 when the U.S. Bank at 1720 W. Olive Ave. was robbed. A man allegedly entered the building and handed over a note, demanding money.

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"A witness inside the bank attempted to detain the suspect but was unable to," Green said. "It was learned the suspect was armed with a pellet gun resembling a real handgun, which he left behind at the scene."

On April 30, the same man reportedly robbed the U.S. Bank at 240 N. San Fernando Blvd., where he also handed over a note, demanding money.

Police identified James Hamill, 27, as a suspect in a series of bank robberies across Southern California including two in Burbank.
Police identified James Hamill, 27, as a suspect in a series of bank robberies across Southern California including two in Burbank. (Courtesy of the Burbank Police Department)

Authorities eventually discovered the man was connected to bank robberies in Newhall, Valencia, Orange and Pico Rivera as well as an attempted bank robbery in Van Nuys.

Green said evidence left behind by the man at the first robbery led police to identify Hamill as a suspect. He also said detectives identified Yaworski as his getaway driver in at least one of the robberies.

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The two were then arrested by the Los Angeles Police Department on May 4 after entering a bank in North Hollywood.

Hamill is being held in lieu of $400,000 bail, while Yaworski's bail is set at $50,000.

Twitter: @Andy_Truc

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