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Federal grand jury indicts Detroit teen for Lompoc bank robbery, Vandenberg crash

Guadalupe bank robbery
Karen Cruz Orduna / KCOY
Guadalupe police arrested a suspect following an attempted bank robbery.
coast hills robbery
Patricia Martellotti/KEYT
Lompoc police are investigating a robbery at a credit union

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY - A teenager from Detroit faces 40 years in federal prison if convicted of a string of crimes allegedly committed last month in Santa Barbara County. 

Maurice Antwion Pilgrim was transferred from state custody to federal custody Tuesday following a federal grand jury indictment. He was expected to be arraigned that afternoon in United States District Court in downtown Los Angeles.

New details in the investigation were released the same day through court documents filed in the case.

The 19-year-old is charged with robbing the Coast Hills Credit Union in Lompoc on October 13 and getting away with $3,000 dollars. He is accused of trying to pull off a heist at Mechanics Bank in Guadalupe two days later -- even slipped the teller a note demanding money -- however, the sight of a bank security guard scared him off.

Shortly after the foiled bank robbery, law enforcement officials caught up with Pilgrim driving on Highway 1 and a high-speed chase ensued. It came to an end when the teen crashed his car near the visitor center at Vandenberg Air Force Base. Pilgrim took off running but was caught and arrested after a short chase.

Authorities said Pilgrim made “incriminating statements” following his arrest on October 15. He was later identified as the suspect in the Lompoc bank robbery.

Evidence in the case includes clothing and other items found in a Ford Taurus Pilgrim had rented in July but never returned. Court documents reveal those items matched security camera footage and witness descriptions of him. Pilgrim also allegedly told law enforcement that, before the robbery, he used Google to research penalties for bank robbery.

This investigation was a collaboration between the FBI, the Lompoc Police Department, the Guadalupe Police Department, and the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jeremiah M. Levine of the General Crimes Section.

Article Topic Follows: Santa Maria - Lompoc - North County

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Beth Farnsworth

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