Valencia couple arrested in connection with string of robberies

bank video surveillance.

A Valencia couple has been arrested in connection with a string of bank robberies in Southern California, including two in the Santa Clarita Valley.

James Hamill, 27, and Samantha Yaworski, 22, were charged Monday by prosecutors with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

Hamill was charged with six counts of robbery and two counts of attempted robbery. Yaworski was charged with one count of attempted robbery.

Bank surveillance image.

The two are believed responsible for several bank robberies in Southern California have been arrested and charged for the crimes.

“The first bank they hit in Santa Clarita was in Newhall on March 7, on Lyons Avenue,” Sgt. Derek Green of the Burbank Police Department told The Signal on Thursday.

“The second bank in Santa Clarita was the U.S. Bank on Valencia Boulevard on May 12,” he said.

The robbery spree began in March and spanned about two months, during which two U.S. Bank locations in the city of Burbank also were robbed, Green wrote in a news release issued Thursday.

The first occurrence in Burbank was on April 20, at about 3:40 P.M., when a man entered the branch at 1720 W. Olive Avenue and produced a demand note for money, according to a Burbank P.D. report.

A witness inside the bank attempted to detain the suspect, but was unable to.

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, at about 2:15 P.M., the same suspect robbed a U.S. Bank branch located at 240 E. Palm Avenue in Burbank, again producing a demand note.

Burbank Police Detectives investigating these cases met with investigators from surrounding law enforcement agencies and learned the same suspect was responsible for additional bank robberies in Newhall, Valencia, Pico Rivera and Orange, and an attempted bank robbery in Van Nuys.

Evidence collected in the first Burbank bank robbery led to the identity of the suspect, who is now known to police as James Hamill, a 27-year-old man from Valencia, Green wrote in the news release.

Burbank Police Detectives also identified an accomplice to Hamill, who is believed to have acted as a getaway driver in at least one of the robberies.

She has been identified as Samantha Yaworski, a 22-year-old woman from Valencia, Green said.

On May 2, arrest warrants were issued for Hamill and Yaworski.

On May 4, both Hamill and Yaworski were arrested by the Los Angeles Police Department after they entered a U.S. Bank located in the 10100 block of Riverside Drive, in the City of North Hollywood.

On May 7, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office file six counts of robbery in addition to two counts of attempted robbery against James Hamill, and one count of attempted robbery against Samantha Yaworski.

Hamill remains in-custody and is being held on $400,000 bail.

Yaworski also remains in-custody on $50,000 bail.

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