“Surgical mask” suspect charged in string of robberies

Suspect linked to six armed robberies.

William Hayes. Photo Courtesy: Williamsburg Police.

YORK COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) – An 18-year-old Hampton man is facing a long list of charges for a string of armed robberies in York County.

Deputies tracked down William T. Hayes Monday, while responding to a robbery at a Valero gas station in Williamsburg. The deputies spotted the suspect’s vehicle, a Maroon Pontiac G6, which also matched the description of the car linked to several previous robberies in York County, the sheriff’s office said.

Deputies found a surgical mask, wigs and a loaded gun in the car, according to court documents.

“One of the big tip-offs in this is that, in most of these robberies, he was wearing a surgical mask, so that was kind of the piece of evidence that really brought it all together,” said York-Poquoson Sheriff J.D. Danny Diggs.

Hayes was taken into custody and later charged in connection with the Valero gas station robbery in Williamsburg. He is also facing charges for five York County armed robberies, including one at the Shell gas station on Hampton Highway. Court documents say during the robbery, Hayes shot into a cabinet three times thinking it was a safe, and got away with money and cigarettes.

“Any armed robber with a gun is bad enough, but it becomes exceptionally dangerous when they start discharging a firearm in the course of these robberies,” Diggs said.

Deputies believe Hayes is also behind a robbery at the Kwik Out on Merrimac Trail, two at the Wilco Hess on Route 17 and one at the Exxon on Big Bethel Road.

“The quick action and apprehension of this suspect possibly saved lives as this suspect had fired a gun during one of these robberies. I am very proud of the deputies and investigators who have worked so hard to catch this dangerous robber,” Diggs said.

Hayes is being held at the Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail. WAVY News left a message requesting to speak with him.

According to court documents, Hayes reportedly admitted to the six robberies.

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