A “serial bank robber” accused of robbing three Peoria banks—and terrorizing tellers at four other West Valley banks—over the summer was arrested, according to the FBI.
On Aug. 28, FBI agents and Phoenix Police Department officers arrested Scott David Williams, 59, outside Haymaker Thunderbird restaurant in Peoria. He is accused of wearing a face mask and dark glasses as he demanded money from tellers in a string of West Valley bank robberies.
According to the FBI, “Williams is now facing charges in connection with seven bank robberies throughout Arizona since June 2020.”
Williams is accused of stealing around $25,000 from the banks in Peoria, Surprise, Sun City and Goodyear.
His method was to calmly walk up to a teller, shove an envelope or bag at the teller and demand money.
At Chase Bank on West Lake Pleasant Parkway, according to court documents, on July 27 Williams “told the teller he had a partner waiting outside, the partner was listening to a police scanner and not to activate the alarm.”
He also told the Peoria teller not to make any sudden moves before leaving with $4,000.
Williams allegedly returned to Peoria Aug. 6, robbing another Chase Bank on West Northern Avenue. He repeated his threats and instructions before leaving with $3,700.
He allegedly drove out of the parking lot “at a high rate of speed,” jumping over a median on 91st Avenue before turning onto Northern Avenue.
His decision to hit a Goodyear bank Aug. 17 may have been his undoing.
According to court documents, Goodyear police officers investigated the West Valley National Bank robbery on Litchfield Road south of West Thomas Road.
The Goodyear officers found a discarded black, long-sleeved shirt matching a description of what the suspect was wearing near Lexington and 144th avenues—less than a mile from the bank.
A week later, a Department of Public Safety lab found DNA from the shirt matched Williams.
He was in the system: After convictions for two California bank robberies, Williams was in prison from 1987 to 1994 and 1996 to 2007.
Though Williams had a Surprise address, investigators found a post office box he rented was shared by two others, who lived in Wickenburg, according to court documents.
On Aug. 26, investigators at a stakeout in Wickenburg spotted Williams and tracked him for two days.
On Aug. 28, detectives followed Williams from Wickenburg to North Phoenix, where he entered a Bank of America. He did not attempt to rob that bank—“The presence of a security guard ... dissuaded Wiliams from attempting to rob it at that time,” according to court documents.
Phoenix police detectives continued to follow Williams as he drove to a nearby Chase Bank near Carefree Highway and Interstate 17. There, he allegedly demanded money, “but the victim teller did not initially understand Williams due to the face covering and Williams speaking softly,” according to court documents.
“Williams then pushed a bag under the bandit barrier and said ‘fill it up with money.’ The victim teller realized it was a bank robbery and dispensed $1,000 from the cash machine. The victim teller tried to give the money to Williams, but Williams refused and said, ‘No, do it again.’ The victim teller dispensed another $1,000. Again the victim teller tried to give the money to Williams and again Williams insisted, saying, ‘No, do it again.’”
Even then, the cool, persistent bank robber was not finished, according to court documents:
“After dispensing another $1,000, the victim teller placed $3,000 in the bag and pushed it under the barrier. This time Williams took the money and walked out of the bank.”
Detectives again followed Williams, who drove 20 miles to the Haymaker restaurant on West Thunderbird Road in Peoria.
After watching Williams discard a shirt he wore in the bank, Phoenix police officers arrested Williams, according to the court documents.
He did not resist arrest, according to the documents.
“The FBI’s Violent Crimes Task Force would like to thank the Goodyear Police Department and Phoenix Police Department for their outstanding work on this case along with the Arizona Department of Public Safety laboratory, the Surprise Police Department, Peoria Police Department and Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office,” an FBI press release said.
The FBI Violent Crime Task Force is a joint effort of the Phoenix Police Department, Peoria Police Department, Scottsdale Police Department, Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office FATE team, Maricopa County Attorney’s Office and the FBI.