La Quinta Man Arrested in String of 4 Newport Beach Bank Robberies, Attempted Robberies

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Barry Allen Buydens, 56, of La Quinta, pictured in a photo released by the Newport Beach Police Department following his arrest on Dec. 24, 2019.
Barry Allen Buydens, 56, of La Quinta, pictured in a photo released by the Newport Beach Police Department following his arrest on Dec. 24, 2019.

Detectives arrested a man from La Quinta Tuesday after a pursuit in connection with a bank robbery and two failed bank robberies in Newport Beach in recent days, as well as another bank heist last year, authorities said.

Barry Allen Buydens, 56, is accused of robbery, attempted robbery and evading police, according to the Newport Beach Police Department.

The recent spate of crimes began about 3 p.m. Saturday, when Buydens showed up at a U.S. Bank branch inside a Pavilions store at 21181 Newport Coast Drive, police said in a written statement.

“The suspect presented a note demanding cash and threatened that he had a gun,” the statement said. “The suspect fled the location with cash.”

The amount stolen was not disclosed.

Buydens then turned up about 12:45 p.m. Sunday at a Bank of America at 500 Newport Center Drive, police said. He handed a teller a demand note, but did not complete the robbery.

“The suspect appeared nervous and left the location with no cash in a possible black Mercedes SLK,” according to the police statement.

Police said Buydens arrived at a Citibank, 1100 Newport Center Drive, about 4:45 p.m. Monday.

“This time the suspect was recognized by bank employees due to information shared with banks in the area by NBPD Detectives, the police statement said. “Bank employees activated the alarm and the suspect fled the location.”

Officers soon spotted the suspect in the area, driving a black Mercedes-Benz, officials said. He led police on a pursuit and managed to elude officers on the 73 Freeway in Costa Mesa.

Investigators served a search warrant in La Quinta overnight and took Buydens into custody about 8:30 a.m. Tuesday.

In addition to the recent crimes, Buydens was also arrested on an outstanding warrant stemming from a May 24, 2018, robbery at Bank of America, 21171 Newport Coast Drive, officials said.

Details regarding Buydens’ bail amount and initial court appearance were not available Tuesday night.

Anyone with information was urged to contact Newport Beach Police Department Detective Michael Fletcher at 949-644-3779, or via email at mfletcher@nbpd.org.

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