Suspect connected to multiple Gainesville robberies has first court hearing

Obadiah Dillard


GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - UPDATE: Obadiah Dillard, 40 had his court hearing this morning, and his bond was set at $750,000. Gainesville Police say after his arrest Dillard confessed to his the crimes.

After using a bicycle as his getaway transportation from a half dozen robberies, the "Bike Bandit" ran out of luck, and into nearly two dozen police officers.

His stroll quickly turned into a ride in the back of a police car.

Gainesville Police say they believe the suspect, Obadiah Dillard robbed a total of 6 businesses in the last week.

He was arrested at Georgetown apartments in Northwest Gainesville after a reported bank robbery at Wells Fargo nearby.

Dillard is suspected of entering multiple banks and businesses, implying he had a weapon, demanding cash then fleeing on his bike.

Niyana Speights, 13, lives in Georgetown Apartments with her family she says she's happy Dillard is away from her community.

"If he was living here and he was like stealing and stuff, it wouldn't be a good cause for our neighborhood because we already have like a lot of people trying to move here and that would make it looking bad,” Speights said.

Dillard was caught by police after a call of a bank robbery at a Wells Fargo bank on NW 13th Street.

When the call came, 22 school resource officers were training at Gainesville High School across the street.

The officers crossed the street and set up a perimeter in the area.

Originally, police thought Dillard was inside the bank but then found him entering an apartment in Georgetown, around the corner.

"That's one less person we have to worry about with like problems so I feel kinda good knowing that they got the guy or whatever,” Justin Jones, a nearby resident, said.

As for Speights, she just wants other residents to know her apartment complex is and has always been safe.

"Georgetown is actually a really great place to live,” she said.

Dillard will be charged with at least three counts of robbery but police say more charges are expected to be added.

ORIGINAL STORY: Gainesville Police are linking a series of robberies to a single suspect. The thief is suspected of robbing five different places, with the string of robberies starting last week.

GPD are currently working to identify the thief after he robbed 5 different stores throughout the city since August 1st.

Public Information Officer Ben Tobias said that he arrives on a bicycle and leaves on a bicycle and is wearing gloves and a mask, going into the stores demanding the clerk to open up the cash register and snatching the money out of the cashier's hand.

GPD has released video of the man and was last seen wearing a blue hat with glasses, and a brown jacket while holding a bag. Officers say the robberies happened at Alliance Credit Union, the CVS on Southwest 13th Street, CVS on North Main Street, O'Reilly Auto Parts on East University Avenue, and Family Dollar on Northeast 23rd Avenue. GPD says the robberies are believed to be connected.

Tobias went on to say "we're looking for a black male on a bicycle and when you start looking for a black males on bicycles, they are everywhere. So, we need to make sure that we're stopping the right person, that we're not violating anyones constitutional rights when we're looking for the suspect, but it's frustrating to us because the guy is on a bike and why can't we find him."

GPD is asking for the public's help to find him before he strikes again and they're asking if you see something, to say something.


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