Suspected CoastHills robber caught after botched Guadalupe bank robbery

Maurice Antwion Pilgrim

By JOSH FRIEDMAN

A Detroit man suspected of robbing CoastHills Credit Union in Lompoc on Tuesday allegedly attempted to rob a bank in Guadalupe on Thursday, prompting a high-speed chase that ended with his arrest at the entrance gate of Vandenberg Air Force Base.

On Thursday at about 1:30 p.m., Maurice Antwion Pilgrim, 19, entered Mechanics Bank located at 905 Guadalupe Street, and handed a note demanding money to a teller, according to the Guadalupe Police Department. The teller refused Pilgrim’s demand.

The would-be robber then took back the note and fled. 

Guadalupe police officers arrived at the scene and obtained statements from witnesses describing the suspect and his vehicle. The Guadalupe Police Department shared the descriptions with other law enforcement agencies. 

Earlier in the day, a vehicle matching the description of Pilgrim’s had been reported for reckless driving. 

Shortly after Pilgrim fled, a sheriff’s deputy spotted the suspect’s vehicle traveling southbound on Highway 1 near Casmalia Road. The deputy tried to stop the vehicle, but Pilgrim did not comply and a high-speed pursuit ensued.

The chase reached speeds of more than 100 mph. CHP officers and a Santa Barbara County helicopter assisted sheriff’s deputies with the chase. 

Eventually, Pilgrim drove onto the Vandenberg Air Force Base property near the visitor center. Pilgrim drove over a curb into a landscaped area, exited his vehicle and fled by foot.

Deputies chased after Pilgrim and quickly caught him at the gates to the air base. 

Authorities arrested Pilgrim on charges of possession of a stolen vehicle and evading police and booked him into the Lompoc Jail. Pilgrim is also facing attempted robbery charges.

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