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California model in cross-country manhunt pleads guilty to East Coast robberies

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GREENWICH -

A California fitness model has pleaded guilty to federal robbery charges in a string of crimes that spanned Connecticut and New York before he led police on a cross-country manhunt.

David Byers robbed a Chase bank twice in Greenwich, as well as a Citgo station in Cos Cob in April. Police say he robbed two businesses on Long Island earlier that week. In all, police say he stole almost $15,000 in five robberies.

He led Greenwich police on a high-speed chase down Interstate 95, abandoned his stolen car and escaped to New York. There, he stole another car and took off for the West, evading state police in Pennsylvania and Arizona.

San Diego police and the FBI finally arrested Byers there in May.

"He clearly does not care about any of the typical rules of society," says Capt. Kraig Gray, of the Greenwich Police Department. "His apprehension is important for our community, as well as any place this gentleman had been operating."

None of the robberies resulted in injuries, police say.

Michael Stokes, a photographer responsible for some of Byers' modeling pictures, says Byers had moved to the East Coast for a woman he was dating. 

"I don't think of David as a violent person," he says.

Byers' sentencing is set for Jan. 30. He is facing up to 20 years in prison.

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