Trial for alleged ‘Seasoned Bandit’ to start in February

Surveillance photo captured by Chase Bank branch on Lyons of suspect on July 26. The case against the “Seasoned Bandit” is set for trial in a federal courtroom in February, officials said Wednesday.

The case against the alleged “Seasoned Bandit” is set for trial in a federal courtroom in February, officials said Wednesday.

James Allen Hayes, 55, pleaded not guilty at a U.S. District Court in October, when he was formally charged with 10 counts of bank robbery and one count of attempted bank robbery in connection with an alleged bank robbing spree which began in April and ended with his arrest in Ventura in September.

Discovery, or the sharing of incriminating and exonerating evidence by both sides, is expected to finish by January 12, and the final pretrial discussions are set for February 9.

The trial is scheduled to begin on February 27, 2018, at 9 a.m., according to information provided by Department of Justice spokesman Thom Mrozek.

surveillance photo of suspected PT Cruiser Bandit. courtesy photo of LASD

Stephen Demik is representing the defendant, who is being prosecuted by Jehan M. Pernas, assistant U.S. attorney.

Hayes was arrested after the license plates for a PT Cruiser he was accused of driving to the robberies was captured on a camera set up on Highway 126, according to an affidavit submitted by the FBI

The affidavit reads in part: “On September 26, 2017, I reviewed vehicle license plates that were captured by a license plate reader camera.

“The FBI had placed a license plate reader camera at the intersection of Chiquito Canyon Road and Henry Mayo Drive, in Castaic, California, which law enforcement believed to be the most likely route for the robber to travel between robberies in Los Angeles County and Santa Barbara County.

“On September 25, 2017, at 4:15 p.m., approximately 15 minutes after the September 25, 2017 robbery attempt of the Wells Fargo Bank, California license plate 5JPN601 was recorded as driving westbound.

“I queried a License Plate Recognition database and found numerous photos of the PT Cruiser with California license plate number 5JPN601.”

The Wells Fargo bank robbery that happened on Sept. 25, marked the second time the PT Cruiser Bandit – aka Seasoned Bandit – held up the bank.

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