A Michigan man was arrested Tuesday on federal robbery-related charges after he allegedly robbed a Lompoc credit union and a bank in Guadalupe before leading police on a high-speed pursuit last month.
Maurice Pilgrim, 19, of Detroit was indicted on one count of robbery and one count of attempted robbery after he was indicted by a federal grand jury on Nov. 10, according to a Ciaran McEvoy, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Los Angeles.
Pilgrim was initially arrested by the Lompoc Police on Oct. 15, but was taken into federal custody Tuesday and was expected to be arraigned that afternoon in the U.S. District Court in downtown Los Angeles.
Pilgrim is accused of robbing the Lompoc CoastHills Credit Union on Oct. 13 and attempting to rob the Mechanics Bank in Guadalupe two days later.
Santa Maria Police are again seeking the public's help with identifying a man wanted in connection to numerous liquor store robberies over the past several months.
The first incident occurred shortly after 9 a.m. at the CoastHills Credit Union, located in the 1300 block of North H Street, where Pilgrim showed a gun and a note to the teller, demanding money, before he fled the scene with $3,000 in cash, according to the indictment.
Then two days later, on Oct. 15, Pilgrim attempted to rob the Mechanics Bank in the 900 block of Guadalupe Street, officials said.
Pilgrim fled the scene after seeing a nearby bank security guard, according to the indictment, although Guadalupe Police Chief Michael Cash initially said the teller refused and handed the note back.
In both incidents, Pilgrim wore a mask.
A short time later, police located Pilgrim on Highway 1 and initiated a high-speed pursuit, which ended when he crashed his car near the Vandenberg Air Force Base visitor's center and tried fleeing the scene on foot before he was apprehended.
After he was arrested, police matched the Ford Taurus he rented in July, but never returned, to security camera footage and witness descriptions, according to McEvoy.
In addition, Pilgrim allegedly told police that, before the robbery, he used Google to research penalties for bank robbery. If convicted, Pilgrim could face a minimum of 40 years in federal prison, according to McEvoy.
The case was investigated by the FBI, Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office and Guadalupe and Lompoc police departments.