New details emerge in string of armored car heists in Los Angeles

Leanne Suter Image
Tuesday, April 30, 2024
Details emerge in string of armored car heists in Los Angeles
New details are emerging in a string of armored car heists in L.A. that seemingly couldn't be stopped.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- New details are emerging in a string of armored car heists in Los Angeles that seemingly couldn't be stopped.

More than two years after the first robbery, most members of the crew are either behind bars or dead.

Detectives dubbed the crew the "Chesapeake Bandits" because investigators believe they planned their six-figure heists at a home on Chesapeake Avenue in the West Adams neighborhood.

For Zeff Rocco, a suspect believed to be part of the "Chesapeake Bandits," a daring leap from his third-floor balcony turned deadly.

Rocco was holed up in his Reseda apartment last month when a SWAT team closed in on him.

In footage recently released by the LAPD, Rocco is seen leaping from a balcony amid a tense standoff. While on the ground, he is shot and killed by police as he reaches for a rifle.

Police say officers at the scene found an assault rifle, multiple high-capacity magazines and body armor.

Last year, the FBI offered a $25,000 reward for information that would lead to arrests.

James Russell Davis and his half-brother Deneyvous Hobson are believed to be the masterminds behind the heists. After authorities nabbed the half-brothers, they zeroed in on other members of the crew. One was found murdered in a field.

The FBI and LAPD pieced together a puzzle that included suspects dressed in painter jumpsuits, often wearing body armor and armed with assault rifles and zip ties. The robberies totaled more than half a million dollars.

"The suspects operate by overtaking the armored car driver when they service drive-thru ATMs or exit businesses," the FBI said in a news release last year. "During the robberies, the victim drivers are zip-tied and held at gunpoint. They then enter the armed vehicle and steal the money."

The crimes were committed in broad daylight, from a Brinks truck targeted in front of a Reseda Taco Bell to ATMs and check cashiers in South L.A., Hawthorne and Inglewood.

Davis and Hobson cased targets weeks in advance of the robberies, authorities said.

Two of the suspects are dead and three others were arrested. Davis pleaded guilty to robbery and gun charges while the two other suspects pleaded not guilty.