By News-Register staff • 

Marshals arrest suspect in McMinnville bank robberies

Submitted photo##
Submitted photo##

U.S. Marshals have arrested a suspect in connection with bank robberies at Chase Bank and OnPoint Community Credit Union, both in McMinnville.

McMinnville Police Chief Matt Scales said Billy Dean Hays, 53, was arrested Tuesday, Feb. 7, at a hotel in Astoria by members of U.S. Marshal Service as he was leaving one of the rooms at 10:45 a.m.

Hays is a "person of interest" in robberies at Chase Bank in McMinnville on Jan. 10, Chase Bank in West Salem on Jan. 19, Chase Bank in Lake Oswego on Jan. 21, OnPoint Community Credit Union in McMinnville on Jan. 24 and First Federal in Newberg on Feb. 3, Scales said.

He added that Hays has outstanding felony warrants and has previous convictions for felon in possession of a weapon, carrying a concealed firearm and possession and manufacture of drugs, but the chief said he didn't know what local charges Hays might be facing for the robberies. According to a press release from the U.S. Marshals Service issued Tuesday morning, Hays is also wanted for a parole violation warrant from the Oregon State Parole Board issued Jan. 25 after originally being convicted of assault.

Hays allegedly walked into the banks and credit unions and approached a teller, demanding cash before fleeing in the scenes on foot. During the McMinnville robbery at Chase Bank, the robber was seen wearing an FBI hat in surveillance footage.

Tuesday's press release from the U.S. Marshals Service Tuesday said members of the U.S. Marshals Task Force worked with FBI agents as well as McMinnville and Portland police officers on the case, checking various locations throughout Portland and parts of the Pacific Northwest, including the Oregon Coast.

"We want to give special thanks the U.S. Marshals Service and regional law-enforcement partners [including FBI agents] for their work on the case," Scales said.

Local police sought assistance from federal marshals due to the severity of the crimes and because Hays was considered armed and dangerous.

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