WOODLAND HILLS—The Southern California “Cowboy Gun Bandits” were convicted on Tuesday, July 26, for their involvement in a string of armed robberies from Los Angeles to Fresno and could face life in prison.
Dominic Dorsey, 48, of Hollywood and Reginald Bailey, 71, of Jefferson Park were nick-named the “Cowboy Gun Bandits” because of the distinctive long-barreled Colt six-shooter used in the heists. They were arrested and booked on multiple gun and robbery charges in June 2014.
Law enforcement officials believe the duo committed upwards of 30 armed robberies in a span of just three months throughout the winter of 2013 in Woodland Hills, Newhall, Encino, Thousand Oaks, Atwater Village and Glendale.
Dorsey and Bailey pursued small-scale robberies like gas stations and liquor stores – rarely making off with more than a few thousand dollars. On November 15, 2013, at approximately 9 a.m., the two men walked into a Citibank in Glendale, ordering all employees and customers to the ground at gun point. The robbery netted $55,000 in cash.
“They were planning on moving up from liquor stores to a bank,” Assistant U.S. Atty. Joseph Axelrad told a jury in a downtown federal courtroom last week, the Los Angeles Times reported.
They moved quickly and never left behind clothing fibers, DNA or fingerprints that experts could examine, according to law enforcement officials.
Each of the robberies were captured on surveillance camera, according to prosecutors. The footage shows the thieves, in a number of the heists, wearing dark hooded sweatshirts, face-obscuring bandanas, black gloves and dark colored pants. Further analysis into the footage revealed that one of the suspects, Bailey, was missing his left ring finger.
“They were good, but they did make mistakes, and that’s how they got caught,” said Axelrad.
Ten minutes prior to the Encino gas station robbery, surveillance footage showed Dorsey at that same gas station, wearing distinctive sneakers that can be seen on camera while he pumps and buys gas. He drove off and minutes later the gas station was robbed by a suspect wearing the same shoes as Dorsey and driving a similar car, prosecutors told the jury.
A witness was able to provide authorities with the last three numbers of the license plate of the car used that day and law enforcement officials narrowed it down to a single black Nissan in the LA area – belonging to Dorsey’s wife.
Dorsey made a $9,000 cash deposit on a new Mercedes-Benz less than three weeks after the Citibank holdup. He listed Bailey as his emergency contact, naming him as his uncle.
While surveillance video didn’t capture his face, one of the suspects pictured in the footage from the robberies matched Bailey’s height and build, walked with a similar limp and appeared to be missing his left ring finger – the security video showed the suspect, who police believe to be Bailey, fleeing with bags of money.
Authorities searched Bailey’s apartment and found black gloves in his backpack and a blue bandanna similar to the one worn during the robberies.
Using DMV records, cellphone records and witness statements, investigators gathered more information and solidified their case. Evidence presented that the men’s cellphones were within miles of each of the robbery locations before and after each of the crimes. The suspects turned off their phones during each robbery, leaving a gap in their whereabouts, according to law enforcement officals.
When Dorsey and Bailey were arrested, officers did not find the black hoodies, dark pants, Dorsey’s distinctive shoes, the money associated with the robberies and the gun – a Colt 1873 revolver.
Both suspects were convicted by a downtown federal jury of conspiracy to interfere with interstate commerce in violation of the federal Hobbs Act, five specific Hobbs act robberies and five counts of using a firearm during those robberies.
Each suspect will face a mandatory 107 years behind bars for the weapon charges alone; each of the six Hobbs Act violations carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison. Both Dorsey and Bailey will be sentenced on November 14, 2016 by U.S. District Judge Christina A. Snyder.