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La Quinta man charged with robbing Newport Beach banks

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Felony charges were filed today against a 56-year-old man accused of robbing a Newport Beach bank and attempting to stick up two others, then evading police who tried to catch up with him.

Barry Allan Buydens was arraigned in the jail courtroom in Santa Ana, where he pleaded not guilty to one count each of second-degree robbery, attempted second-degree robbery and leading police on a chase, as well as a misdemeanor count of resisting arrest.

The La Quinta resident was ordered held on $500,000 bail. His net court date is Jan. 7 at the Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach.

Buydens is accused of robbing a U.S. Bank branch in a Pavilions supermarket at 2118 Newport Coast Drive about 3 p.m. last Saturday. He allegedly handed a teller a note demanding cash and claimed he had a weapon, according to Newport Beach police.

Buydens is accused of attempting to rob a Bank of America branch on Newport Center Drive about 12:45 p.m. Monday, but fled before getting cash, police said. About four hours later, he allegedly entered a Citi bank branch at 1100 Newport Center Drive, but he was recognized by employees because police had issued a bulletin. They tripped an alarm, prompting him to flee, police said.

Officers spotted the suspect in a 2019 Mercedes-Benz on Newport Center Drive, but he refused to pull over and eventually got away.

He was arrested the following day in La Quinta.

Buydens was also wanted on warrant for failing to appear in court in October on charges stemming from a May 24, 2018, stickup at a Bank of America branch at 21171 Newport Coast Road, as well as an alleged identity theft scheme case involving a former Laguna Niguel neighbor, who had died.

Buydens allegedly threatened he had a gun in the 2018 Bank of America robbery and got away with about $21,000, according to testimony in his preliminary hearing in February. When police arrested him at his home in Irvine, they found $15,800 in cash, according to the testimony.

He is charged with theft from an elder adult exceeding $950, burglary, grand theft, fraudulent use of a credit card and identity theft in a separate case alleging crimes in October, November and December of 2017, according to court records.

In that case, Buydens, who was going by the alias Daniel Craig, befriended an elderly neighbor, whose husband had just died, and helped her set up electronic payments of bills on her computer, according to testimony in his preliminary hearing in February. Buydens is accused of using credit cards in the dead man's name to steal about $30,000, according to testimony.

Buydens pleaded guilty to identity theft in April 2001 and was sentenced to two years behind bars, according to court records.

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