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Saturday, January 22, 2022

Man pleads guilty to 9 robberies

Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey announced Thursday afternoon that the man charged with the Dec. 9 robberies on Chico’s west side has not contested the charges.

Ramsey’s office said Robert Allen Studdard, III, 23, did not contest his string of robberies last December.
Studdard reportedly agreed to a maximum sentence of 13 years in state prison when he filed a guilty plea. In addition to nine counts of second-degree robbery, he also did not contest one count of resisting police.

During his string of robberies, he hit several businesses in one 24 hours and robbed one gas station four times.

Studdard was arrested by Chico police after his latest New Year’s Eve robbery around 9:50 am after a department dispatcher suspected an anonymous cell phone call about a man with a gun at Chico’s Mangrove Avenue Market.
The dispatcher, who reportedly thought the caller might be trying to draw police forces away from the gas station he had previously robbed, sent additional officers to the gas station.

When officers arrived at a gas station in West Chico, they grabbed him as he was fleeing the market after his latest robbery.

In his press release, Ramsey said that the defendant waived his Miranda rights and confessed to all nine robberies while at the Chico Police Department.

The robberies began in late December when Chico police responded to an armed robbery at a gas station in West Chico where, according to Ramsey, police learned that the incident was the second robbery at the station in days, as the original robbery had not been reported to police.

According to Ramsey, the police, using surveillance cameras, determined that the same person robbed the store both times.

Ramsey said the same man apparently robbed several more businesses over the next few days, which activated the Chico police’s anti-violence unit to catch the burglar.

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Ramsey said the investigation continued over the Christmas weekend as several agencies teamed up in an effort to find the suspect and stop the robberies.

Ramsey also noted that despite Studdard’s attempts to hide his identity by wearing a mask and gloves, investigators were able to identify the suspect from other unique physical characteristics, such as tattoos on the robbers.

Ramsey noted that investigators were also able to identify Studdard’s pattern when committing robberies. In all cases, he had a black pistol, a distinctive backpack, and after starting the business, he would force the clerk to empty the cash register and then run away on a bicycle.

Ramsey said once law enforcement identified Studdard as a suspect, they began to focus their efforts on areas he was known to frequent. However, the police had problems with his whereabouts because he was a temporary pass and moved around the city frequently.

During the latest robbery, Ramsey said that after being ordered to stop running by Studdard, he not only kept running, but was reportedly shedding his clothes in an attempt to change his appearance. However, the police managed to detain him at gunpoint.

In addition to finding what appeared to be money stolen from a gas station minutes earlier, Ramsey said police found a realistic replica of the firm in his pocket and he was wearing some of the clothes from his other robberies.

After obtaining a warrant to search his tent at 9th and Hazel Streets, police found other clothing captured on security video, as well as stolen property, including serial lottery tickets that Ramsey said were linked to several robberies.

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