GREENWICH, Conn. — A muscular and heavily tattooed 34-year-old California man charged in a robbery spree in Greenwich apparently had a side job as a male model and is a big hit on Instagram.
David E. Byers, 34, of Solana Beach, was arrested early Wednesday in San Diego after a cross-country crime spree, police said.
A "be on the lookout" alert noted that he is 5-9, weighs 160 pounds and has brown/blond hair and blue eyes. It did not mention the extensive tattoos on his neck, arms, chest, body and legs.
Byers, who was due in court Thursday in California, is suspected of robbing the same Greenwich bank in two days last week and holding up a gas station as well.
"I'm very surprised and saddened by this. David texted me last week Tuesday and seemed very upbeat and happy, so the timing of this is shocking," photographer Michael Stokes posted on Facebook. He has an Instagram account filled with photos of muscular men.
Stokes told CBS News 8 in California that he has been photographing Byers for three years and was saddened to find out his friend was the suspect. Byers was not violent and had never indicated a criminal side, Stokes told CBS News 8.
The brazen crime spree began Monday, April 24, when Byers robbed a Citgo gas station, Greenwich police said. On each of the next two days, he robbed the Chase Bank branch on East Putnam Avenue at gunpoint, police said.
Byers was last spotted in Greenwich on Friday night, when police determined he was at the JHouse and descended on the establishment, police said.
But he took off in a Range Rover — becoming airborne twice — as officers chased him onto I-95, where he abandoned the vehicle and ran across three lanes of highway traffic to escape capture, police said.
Armed officers went door-to-door and searched backyards and helicopters flew overhead as the manhunt continued in nearby Greenwich neighborhoods, but Byers eluded capture, police said.
The police manhunt continued until about 9:30 p.m. Friday, police said. They said Byers stole another Range Rover in Port Chester, N.Y., and fled to Harrisburg, Pa., where he also eluded capture by the Pennsylvania State Police.
Byers then fled cross country, police said. He stole a vehicle in Yuma, Ariz., and was eventually traced with the help of the FBI to San Diego, where he was arrested, police said.
In Connecticut, he is wanted on charges of first-degree robbery, two counts of third-degree robbery, second degree larceny, sixth-degree larceny and reckless endangerment. He was held on $200,000 bond.
Greenwich police are seeking Byers' extradition back to Connecticut.
According to a judicial data base, Byers was arrested in March in San Diego on charges of burglary, resisting arrest, grand theft and driving while intoxicated.
Click here for the story at CBS News 8 website.