At least six suspects at large in theft of armored cars in L.A. area, FBI and LAPD say

A suspect near a gate and pointing a rifle is seen in CCTV footage
A suspect, seen in CCTV footage, is one of several wanted in connection with armored car robberies between February 2022 and February 2023.

A group of heavily armed robbers dubbed the “Chesapeake Bandits” is behind a series of heists targeting armored cars across the Los Angeles region, and authorities recently apprehended one of the alleged ringleaders, the FBI and local police announced Thursday.

Federal prosecutors charged two of the key suspects involved in the five armed heists, which resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars being stolen, authorities said. Deneyvous Hobson, 36, and James Russell Davis, 34, each face robbery and conspiracy charges. Hobson was taken into custody Feb. 21, while Davis remains a fugitive. At least five others believed to be part of the group — so called because investigators say they carefully planned the holdups at a home on Chesapeake Avenue in L.A.’s West Adams neighborhood — remain at large.

“The defendants in this case and the other co-conspirators are heavily armed and pointed their weapons at the victims,” which in each case were security guards, U.S. Atty. Martin Estrada said at a news conference at the FBI’s L.A. headquarters in Westwood.


In one holdup, Estrada said, “a firearm was discharged” by a robber alleged to be Hobson. Video of one of the heists shows masked bandits welding an AR-style rifle with a short barrel, an optical sight and a large extended magazine.

The bandits would force security guards to the ground at gunpoint, zip-tie them, and grab the money bags before fleeing.

A tight, face-only image of James Russel Davis
James Russell Davis faces conspiracy and robbery charges, authorities say.

Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore said detectives investigating the armored car robberies found connections between the crimes committed at various banks last year in Hawthorne, Inglewood and Los Angeles.

Moore said the LAPD’S Robbery Homicide Division worked with investigators from other agencies to “knit together” the identity of some of those behind the heists, which were committed in daylight.

“No guard or employee has been injured to date, but when you look at the tactics used here, someone compared them to the movies,” he said.

Donald Alway, FBI assistant director in charge of the L.A. office, said the the bandits would conduct advance surveillance on 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 robbers believed to have been Hobson and Davis were seen in a white Chevrolet Tahoe “for approximately one hour while a future victim, J.G. — a Sectran Security, Inc., armored car driver — parked his armored car and collected cash” from ATM machines, according to the criminal complaint.

A bank employee noticed the men’s suspicious activity and called police. A police officer questioned the two, who provided identification with the same Chesapeake Avenue address, according to affidavit filed with the complaint.


“Three weeks later, to the day — and almost the exact same minute ... J.G. was robbed while collecting cash from the same” ATM machines, Elizabeth Cardenas, an FBI special agent, said in the affidavit.

The suspects were three men who used what appeared to be an AR-15 and a handgun during the robbery, authorities said. They stole the guard’s gun and about $100,000.

The crew allegedly pulled off a similar heist about a half-mile away in Inglewood on June 9, stealing nearly $93,000, authorities said. A vehicle matching Davis’ Tahoe was “seen leading a getaway car within 30 minutes of the robbery on a nearby Ring camera.”

According to court records, Hobson has previous convictions for robbery and assault with a deadly weapon, while Davis has a conviction for receiving stolen property and possessing burglary tools.

At least five other individuals believed to be part of the Chesapeake Bandits have yet to be identified. Surveillance photos of them can be seen here: WantedUnknownSubjects.

Anyone who might recognize a suspect’s clothing or may have heard someone discussing their involvement is urged to call the FBI with a tip. A reward of up to $25,000 is being offered in exchange for information leading to an arrest in the case.