Suspect in 5 bank robberies arrested in Astoria

A man wanted in connection with a string of bank robberies was arrested while leaving an Oregon coast motel Tuesday morning, according to officials.

Billy Dean Hays, 53, was spotted leaving a motel in the 5300 block of Leif Erikson Drive in Astoria around 10:45 a.m., according to the U.S. Marshals Oregon Fugitive Task Force.

He was arrested without incident with the help of Astoria Police.

Hays is thought to have played a role in five bank robberies in Salem, Lake Oswego, Newberg and two in McMinnville, ranging from late December 2016 up until just a few weeks ago, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The U.S. Marshals Task Force worked with McMinnville and Portland police detectives to investigate various areas in Portland and throughout the Pacific Northwest to track down Hays, which brought investigators to Astoria.

Investigators said he is suspected of robbing five banks by walking into a bank or credit union, approaching the teller, demanding cash and then fleeing on foot upon getting money.

During one of the McMinnville robberies on Tuesday, Jan. 10, the suspect wore a dark-colored jacket and a dark-colored baseball cap with large white letters spelling "FBI" on the front with a stocking cap underneath.

In the Newberg robbery, he was wearing a brown jacket and a blue cap.

The FBI had released a statement Monday offering a $3,000 award any information leading to the robber's identification, arrest, and conviction.

Beth Anne Steele, public affairs specialist of the FBI Portland Division, said no one has yet been charged with the bank robberies.

The FBI-wanted flyer can be found here.

 

© 2017 KGW-TV


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