Armed robbery suspect arrested

Updated 2/7/2013: Charges against Damon Banks and Lee McQuilkin were dismissed on Feb. 7, 2013. Read more here.

LANCASTER – A 27-year-old man profiled on the Lancaster Station’s Most Wanted list for allegedly robbing three fast food restaurants at gunpoint is now in custody.

Damon Deshaun Banks was arrested at 2:30 p.m., Tuesday, and booked at 2:35 p.m. at the Lancaster Station, according to LASD inmate records.  Information on where he was arrested was not immediately available.

Banks was wanted on a $300,000 felony warrant in connection with the armed robberies of Little Caesars, Wienerschnitzel and Subway, which occurred on Sunday, June 10.

The robberies happened between 7 and 9 p.m. In all three cases, two men walked into the restaurants, held the employees at gunpoint, demanded money from the register and then escaped on foot. Read more here.

Banks and 27-year-old Lee Vance McQuilkin were identified as suspects in the robberies through a combination of “surveillance video and good old police work,” according to Lancaster Station spokesman Michael Rust.

Photos of the men, along with their physical descriptions, were placed on a Most Wanted list, which was distributed to local media on June 25.

McQuilkin was not in custody as of 11 a.m. Wednesday morning, according to LASD inmate records.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Lee Vance McQuilkin is urged to contact Detectives Donnel or Ellis at the Lancaster Station at 661-948-8466. If you would like to provide information anonymously, you can do so by calling Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Banks is scheduled for arraignment at 8 a.m. Thursday at the Antelope Valley courthouse.

Editor’s Note: Family members and supporters of Banks maintain that he is innocent and believe that the incident is a case of mistaken identity. The AV Times will follow this case closely and will have more information as it becomes available.

  59 comments for “Armed robbery suspect arrested

  1. Michelle Sutton
    July 6, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    This is my cousin and I have known him all of my life and has no reason to rob he has children and had a Jon as an electrician. This is mistaken idenity.

    • Delron
      August 9, 2012 at 5:10 pm

      Having a job, whether as an electrician or not, and having children, does not preclude anyone from committing crime…

      • August 11, 2012 at 6:41 pm

        It does not prevent anyone from commiting a crime. Obviously he has made decision not to commit crimes. He is a 28 year old black male,strong family ties, has a good job(had) , chose not to be involved with gangs or commit crimes (no criminal history) was bo where near the city when the crime occured,YET HE IS STILL IN THE SAME SITUATUION AS PEOPLE WHO MAKE POOR DECISIONS.

        • Unknown
          October 9, 2012 at 12:16 am

          I know for a fact that he can’t be who there looking for. I know the second suspect and I have never seen Damon in our circle a day in my life! They’ve got the wrong person. Lord please let them see that. He was really at the right place at the wrong time!

  2. resident
    July 5, 2012 at 11:58 am

    I’ve lived here for years and its ridiculous how many criminals we have here. I’m a Caucasian 57 year old woman of wisdom and as take a look at previous robberies the scum bag whose still wanted for the convenience store robbery looks like a piece of [removed] compared to this fella here. Take a close look they’re lips are similar cheek bones slightly the same maybe this is mistaken identity . Guilty bastards run this fella went in willingly. Lancaster detectives your disappointing us residence.

  3. Stinger
    July 5, 2012 at 8:56 am

    Of course he is innocent. That is, until he has been proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law and is adjudicated as guilty by a jury of his peers…

    Or he might choose to bend to the pressure of a system designed to scare people into accepting plea bargains for crimes that they did not commit.

  4. Shawn
    July 5, 2012 at 5:55 am

    I am sure he is innocent . I was not present at any of the fast food locations and neither was he. He was not in Lacaster when the robberies occurred. I am certain and will submit to a polygraph examination. I am a witness ,Contrary to the article, Damon Banks was not captured by police. He turned himself in to clear the warrant as well as his name.The judicial system states that all suspect are innocent until proven guilty ,but in this case the “suspect” is guilty until proven innocent. The police never attempted to contact Damon Banks. They did not interview him , state that he is wanted for questioning or at least say that he is a person of interest . The police just asked for the publics “help” to identify a wanted felon . Ultimatley he has been labled to the public as a criminal. An attempt to convict someone by slandering their name in the public, rather than completing a full investigation. We will fight with him and bring as much light to this case as we need to. Ultimatley Damon Banks lost his freedom, his ability to attend work ,and time away from his family . We will invest every dime we have to ensure that he is released and that his name is cleared. The sad truth is that after this is over and Damons’ name is cleared, Detective ELLIS and the DA will continue their lives without any adverse effects for their mistake, actions or inactions. The DA and Officers have nothing to lose by not completing an investigation before issuing warrants out for someones arrest. This is something that should be changed .I have been reading about the amount of crime that has occurred in Lancaster. I understand that officers, The DA office and residents of Lancaster are fed up with the crime sprees I would be too if this mayham occurred in the city I reside in ;However,Law Enforcement officials should not play a game of “Inny”, “minny” , “Miney and Mo.” For them, it’s a game of hit and miss , For Damon Banks and our family this is our life. Its not good police work if you arrest the wrong person. Criminals hide and evade poilce , innocent people clear their names.

  5. LANDO
    July 5, 2012 at 2:33 am

    Some people think Blacks are stereotyped and falsely accused of crimes in this town. BAHHHAAAAA, just look at the videos from the crime scenes….MOST of them are Black males. My business has always been robbed by Blacks, NEVER ever by Whites, Hispanics or Asians. I will change my views about Blacks when they become a model minority.

    • Another Mother sick of the bull..
      July 5, 2012 at 8:11 am

      You sound as ignorant as you probably look. I suspect you may even be running for President of the KKK in the area. You make assumptions that if a Black is accused of a crime, he/she is guilty. You make assumptions that Blacks are poor role models. Your point of view is so twisted that I can see why some minorities have coined Lancaster and Palmdale the “Hang em cities.” I am grateful that I am bright enough to know not all Whites and Asians think like you. Don’t let the actions of a few cloud your thinking. What ever happened to judge a man by his character and not the skin he’s in. If you consider this statement, and you knew Banks, you would see why so many are outraged. And, if the majority of Whites and Asians fell like you do down there in the wanna be dirty south, there’s no way to even anticipate his case will be handled fairly. So ready to advocate for this brother. I can’t wait for the spot light to be pointed in that direction. I’m sure this is a systematic way things are being down there so it’s time for us to do our own investigation, work and look through previous cases like this: assess, evaluate, plan and implement actions that shows most Blacks aren’t ignorant, impulsive and we can use the system to bring about positive change. By the way Lando and clyde, learn some proper english and writing skills.

      • Letlow
        July 5, 2012 at 8:19 am


      • LANDO
        July 5, 2012 at 10:19 pm

        You can say whatever you want…..but….the truth is, A LOT OF PEOPLE are getting tired of Blacks in this town. AMEN.

        • whatAcase
          July 6, 2012 at 8:48 am

          Sad that you feel that way LANDO and seriously Im tired of alot of things as well the blacks do, or whites, hispanics, asians and so fourth because no matter race its all based on character. I understand your position in wanting to live in a place of peace thats why your detectives need to do a thorough job in “capturing” the right guys who is bringing down your city. Maybe the fact that these police officials are doing such a horrible job in finding the robbers is the main reason the low lifes continue to hit…we all want the real criminal but Banks is definitely not him.

        • G.W.BUSH
          July 6, 2012 at 10:49 am

          Mr.LANDO,I G.W.BUSH are one of those ones that like to stoop down to your stupid racist level !! you just want to talk about your tired of BLACK FOLKS here in the AV. And yeah i hear you, but guess what, BLACK FOLKS are tired of people like (YOU)ALL OVER THE UNITED STATES!!not just the small AV, BUT THE UNITED STATES..Now since you want to talk about TRUTH, And the TRUTH is, I dont care how much black americans do,it can never amount up too what people like {YOU} have done since the begining of AMERICA !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • Letlow
          July 6, 2012 at 11:05 am

          Tired of Blacks?? Or tired of crime?? Be careful Lando, your racism is showing…

          • Hmm
            July 6, 2012 at 11:46 am

            In majority of cases they go hand in hand don’t they Letlow?

          • Letlow
            July 6, 2012 at 12:00 pm

            Blacks and crime are about as hand in hand as priests and little boy rapes, submission and Asian women, trailer park residents and inbreeding, white folks and rhythmless dancing, white men and little wieners… I could go on and on…

          • G.W.BUSH
            July 6, 2012 at 12:03 pm

            behind every action is a reaction,so becareful how you act!!

      • dibo
        July 6, 2012 at 10:23 am

        yes sir !!!

  6. realitycheck
    July 4, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    Oh sure, there is a slim possibility these guys are innocent. But let’s review how the process works: first, deputies obviously had some information that pointed to these 2 guys. Then, detectives followed up on that information, wrote reports on it, then those reports went through a couple levels of supervisors for approval. Then, when all the information was in, a detective took the information to a deputy district attorney, who reviewed all the facts. That person decided there was enough facts pointing to these guys to file a case. THEN, that information was presented to a judge, who in turn signed his name on the dotted line, meaning he ALSO believed there were enough facts pointing to these 2 guys, which caused an arrest warrant to be issued. But sure, you’re right, they might be innocent, and if they are, it’ll all come out in court. “shame”, you made me laugh. Where do you find that stuff? LOL…yeah, black men are being accused of crimes, by innocent bystanders, even though it was really a white, hispanic,or asian, right? LOL…you’re dreaming!

    • Quigley
      July 5, 2012 at 4:43 pm

      Realitycheck you seem to know the drill. I am curious, how would this young man, who supposedly has never been involved with a gang or have an arrest record get identified?

      • realitycheck
        July 5, 2012 at 5:05 pm

        First of all, it’s the people on this site saying he has no record. I’m not aware the Sheriff’s have said that yet. As far as identifying him, I guess it could be many things: a license plate, a partial license plate, video surveillance, witness statements, or people snitching. i guess we’ll find out when court rolls around. These are street thugs, not rocket scientists. And the Sheriff’s have a lot of good cops, despite what the people with criminal records on this site (Stinger?) say!

        • Quigley
          July 5, 2012 at 6:28 pm

          No disrespect to this family but this is what the people on this site don’t get…the detectives did not pull Mr. Banks name from a hat..they wouldn’t even know who the hell he is..

          • DashAppeal
            July 5, 2012 at 9:42 pm

            His name was probably not pulled from a hat, but you better believe something went wrong with this partial investigation for them to have selected Damon as the suspect. No disrespect to him or his family but, he doesnt even have the balls to do something these thugs live off of…commiting robberies…. this makes no sense to anyone .

          • Delron
            August 9, 2012 at 5:23 pm

            How many times have we heard when family and other character witnesses are interviewed “they got the wrong guy, he would never do such and such, he was such a nice, polite, friendly neighbor/husband/father/son/brother/cousin/friend” etc. etc.

  7. Yo Mama
    July 4, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    Editor’s Note: Don’t they all say, “It wasn’t me,”?

    • Shawn
      July 5, 2012 at 5:44 am

      Yes, People always say “It was not me” , That what makes it difficult believe someone who really is innocent. Both sides should be investigated, before warrants are issued and peoples names are slandered in the media . Even though the article uses the word “alleged”, the public assumes you are guilty and the scum of the earth. Read the comments from the original post as well as this one. Also, ask yourselves this, Why is is that survellence video have been released in all of the other robberies, of cvs etc. But for Damon Banks , they only have his DL picture. He has No criminal record ( not affiliated with any gangs or criminals) , was a steller student before he graduated from college ( with honors), is gainfully employed, respected and valued by his employer . He does not have a need , nor is the type of person to steal from anyone. I used to look at television and say he is guilty , but now that I have seen first hand that an innocent man can lose his freedom , because of mistaken identity “even when he was no where near Lancaster at the time of the robberies . I am a believer that the law makes mistakes too.

  8. Shame
    July 4, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    Accusing Black Men of False Crimes Is Back in Style
    Thank goodness there are no more lynch mobs.
    Cord Jefferson
    Posted: 02/18/2011 04:23 PM EST

    Horrifyingly, it turns out that accusing Black men of false crimes is back in style.
    Centuries ago, African Americans were often the scapegoats for liars who would accuse them of rapes, murders, and thefts, with many of the deceits ending in lynchings. Since then, we’ve seen many high profile instances of people blaming blacks for crimes they committed themselves, or crimes that didn’t even happen.
    In 1995, South Carolina woman Susan Smith drowned her two sons by trapping them in the backseat of her car and pushing it into a lake. She then accused a Black man of kidnapping them. And in 2009, Pennsylvania mother Bonnie Sweeten ran away with her daughter to Disneyland. She told the police, however, that a Black man had carjacked her and forced her and her daughter into the trunk, stealing them away.
    One would hope that people would be past this sort of thing by now. Unfortunately, they are not.
    Two times already this year, two separate women in New York City have reported being attacked by African-American men. The first, the wife of an NYPD detective, claimed she was attacked by a Black man outside her home on Valentine’s Day. Tsui Dadamo said the man was masked and that he beat her up. After thorough questioning, however, police discovered that Dadamo was lying, and had actually given herself a beating.
    Elsewhere, in Brooklyn, nun Sister Mary Turcotte claimed a “six-foot-four, 250 pound” Black man had choked her, dragged her through the snowy streets and then left her naked and unconscious on the side of the road. Again, however, after thorough police questioning, Turcotte came clean: There had been no attack. She made up the story, she said, to cover up for the consensual sex she’d had with a bodega clerk. Later, it was discovered that that was also a lie—there’d been no fling with a bodega clerk. Turcotte is simply a pathological liar.
    Why do these types of fibs happen so frequently? Blame it on the fact that police themselves are more prone to harass Black men. In New York City’s “stop and frisk” program, for instance, minority men are nine times as likely to be stopped and searched for weapons or other contraband. Who cares that nine times out of 10 they’re innocent? With the police already on the trail of young Black men, it makes sense that whites looking to falsely blame someone would instinctively choose young Black men.
    There are no longer lynch mobs—thank goodness—but that doesn’t mean young Black men’s lives aren’t at risk.

    Image: John Chiasson/Liaison/ Getty Images

    • Tina Marie
      July 5, 2012 at 5:58 pm

      How effing stupid are you????? Did the cameras who videotaped these men have a secret device that automatically painted them black?????? Face it! They were black males who committed these crimes and who commit most crime in this town. It’s effing REALITY!!!!

      • lkwd
        July 5, 2012 at 9:49 pm

        Tina Marie how effing ignorant are you? what makes this reality? in whose world? yours? We have all read about caucasian individuals doing things far worse then what this kid is being accused of. People like you, of all races with your mind set obviously are very unhappy people, get a life

        • Tina Marie
          July 6, 2012 at 8:28 am

          What makes this “reality” is that it happened!!!!!!!! Geeze!!!!!! How dumb are you??????

  9. Not about race but truth
    July 4, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    Damon Banks was not captured, he went to the station and turned himself in. Why can’t we trust what is printed in the AV Times? Why was the location of his arrest not immediately available but the details of his arrest seen to hit the papers like a laser. He turned himself in because he is innocent and somehow had the faith that this whole mess could easily be resolved. He is innocent, has no criminal history, gainfully employed, he is not a thug or so reckless as to commit a crime. He has a job and supports his children. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been out and about and people say I look like someone they know. I have reviewed the AV Times archives and there have been several articles of robberies that seem to have began in May 2012 and all identified two black males. Additionally, pics from the surveillance video were also in the articles. Nonetheless, there hasn’t been a single surveillance video released of the men who committed the June 10th robberies of the three fast food restaurants. Why? Example: Per previous articles, Little Ceasars Pizza was robbed 3 to 4 times within a month. Has the detectives bothered to look at the individuals on duty, or the character of their so-called witnesses or will any black young man do. I don’t believe in playing the race card, but it is clear from comments from individuals in the community that there are racist individuals who can care less about the truth; All the comments about county welfare, Compton and thug seems to be consistently aimed at any black or hispanic person accused of a crime Lancaster or Palmdale. Well, Damon Banks has no gang ties, completed college and was reared in a beautiful multi-culture middle class community, and if anyone takes a close look the picture of him you will see a DL not a mug shot. I understand law enforcement was encouraged and compelled to find the robbers. But, will any black male do? And though Damon Banks is not from Compton, I personally know individuals from Compton who are know police officers, community activist, and numerous other professionals. Why does it take the NAACP and/or a out cry from a group of people for someone to at least look, listen and consider something is badly wrong when an innocent person is grossly and falsely accused of something that has the potential of robbing his/her of the most precious thing in any life, FREEDOM. I am sure someone in the police department is questioning, “Is this the right Man.” Damon Banks family and friends are trying to be patient and hope someone has the conviction to look at all aspects of the investigation and set Damon Banks free.

    • S. Parker
      July 4, 2012 at 6:49 pm

      I don’t condone any of the childish comments here any more than you do, but the fact that Damon Banks was arrested is indisputable. Whether Damon Banks turned himself in or not is not the issue. He was caught, arrested and is still sitting in jail, isn’t he?
      If it was that easy to prove that he was innocent, he would have been let go when he turned himself in. But instead, he was arrested and jailed.
      That is what the article said, so how is it wrong or untrustworthy? I understand you wanting to stick up for your friend/family member, but how are you so certain that Damon Banks is innocent? Were you there? People commit crimes all the time, no matter what kind of upbringing they had.
      I doubt the sheriffs would have released his picture and description if they didn’t have compelling evidence that he committed this crime. All the questions that you are asking will be answered in court, if charges are pressed against Damon Banks. If he is innocent, please concentrate more on getting a good lawyer and less on playing the tired worn out race card.

      • eyewitness
        July 5, 2012 at 11:45 am

        Damon was nowhere near Lancaster at that time and I know that for a fact being I seen him and briefly spoke with him. He’s innocent. I wish the AV times editor was available to speak with so Damon’s story can be released and the people see he’d not the Guy your looking for. The perp your in search of is still in your city waiting to hit now that the light is on an innocent man. Lord have mercy on this cities officials for this wrong doing.

    • david G
      July 5, 2012 at 3:44 pm

      innocent till proven guilty people need to stop acting like he has been convicted already. gees we live in a country where the burden of proof lies on the DA not the other way around.

  10. susan whitson
    July 4, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    Damon was not picked up, once he heard of a warrant for his arrest he himself contacted Lancaster police and went in to clear his name. What thug or ruthless criminal do you know of who will do that. Lets put away with the racial card and be honest …. this young man comes from a good family raised by a successful woman and liked by many people in his Lakewood community. This is sickening how the world and our own law enforcement will do anything to slander then name of an innocent man who works hard and is a great father. Where’s justice when you need it?

    • Letlow
      July 4, 2012 at 2:55 pm

      If what you are saying is true, I commend this young man for having the courage to turn himself in.
      I figured he must have turned himself in since the time lapse between his arrest and his booking was a mere five minutes.
      Hopefully this situation will get straightened out and he will be exonerated of the charges, if he is innocent. What a terrible ordeal to have to face if you did not commit the crime!
      If this man is proven to be innocent, hopefully that story can be covered in the media with the same level of prominence as the story covering his arrest.

      • david G
        July 5, 2012 at 3:41 pm

        if he is proven guilty! dont ever assume someone is guilty until proven innocent.

  11. Palmdale_Steve
    July 4, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    His Baby Mommas could not be reached for comment.

  12. Funny
    July 4, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    Glad the punk thug is in jail ,i bet he will find his dad now that he is home ,cut his damn hands off and stuff a foot long in his mouth

    • Michelle Osborne
      July 5, 2012 at 5:41 pm

      For you asshole, his father doesn’t have anything to do with what’s going on, so watch your mouth and you need to focus on what your future is goig to be, you may know what you what , but you to an end up in the same situation you Idiot !!!!

    • Michelle Osborne
      July 5, 2012 at 5:51 pm

      I repeat, you never know what your future holds, You may know what you want, but you don’t know what you will get

      • CaptainObvious
        July 5, 2012 at 5:58 pm

        Michelle, I’m going out on a limb right now and predicting i will NEVER commit an armed robbery! Stop acting like these punks didn’t choose to do this! maybe his father SHOULD HAVE HAD something to do with this behavior!

        • Michelle Osborne
          July 5, 2012 at 10:46 pm

          Captain Obvious, Im not saying that you would commit a robbery and he hasn’t either all im saying is you to can hit a brick wall in your future and end up in the same position (In Jail) once again never say never Life is full of heartaches at the end of the day Parents can not be held for what they Children do as Adults and This young man was raised very well High School & College Graduate so on that note stay tuned for the end because The God WE serve is a GOOD GOD & He’s ALWAYS on TIME So SATAN FLEE IN Jesus Name…. I will Pray for you it’s people like you that makes this world a Badd Place…. Now Go Find Your Mother & Father & tell them I said you need to be taught some respect !!!!!!!

          • Alex
            July 5, 2012 at 10:53 pm

            Sounds like you are making excuses and using God as a last resort for failure and sin.

            2 Corinthians 11:14

          • Michelle Osborne
            July 5, 2012 at 11:06 pm

            Like I said The GOD WE SERVE Is A GOOD GOD & HE IS ALWAYS on TIME so stay tuned don’t dissapear at the end Good Night Lucifer !!!!!

          • Alex
            July 5, 2012 at 11:32 pm

            Couldn’t find your bible to look up the scripture? lol

          • Tina Marie
            July 6, 2012 at 8:25 am

            So we resort to a mythological little horned man with a goatee, horns & pitchfork when all else fails and we can’t take responsibility for our actions???? You people are absolutely EFFING amazing!!!!

  13. Hm
    July 4, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    yeah, the family says he is innocent! of course he is, they always are! lol..I guess they will be losing their meal ticket if he is found guilty..

    • OK
      July 5, 2012 at 3:28 pm

      There may be some truth to your statement. Nonetheless, there are families who neither support or tolerate unlawful behavior. It as easy as breathing for some to use their mouth so carelessly. I only hope you will never be directly or indirectly confronted with having to address a situation such as the one Banks’ family and friends are dealing with… But the frustration comes from a deeper place when you know Banks’ is innocent. And it hurts when strangers presume to know more than the people who know him best. Their are witnesses that Damon Banks was over 100 miles away during the time of the robbery. But I guess it’s easier for some folks to sit back and cast stones. It that makes your day than I think you are in a worse situation than Banks. When he is found innocent, I wonder what comment will you post.

      • Alex
        July 5, 2012 at 10:57 pm

        I am not omnipresent, but his name being drawn to this case is not just a coincidence. He may be innocent, but DAs don’t file charges for just “thinking” he is guilty. They probably have a record of his whereabouts, so some buddies in South LA isn’t going to override pictures, cell phone records, etc.

        I will never say 100% if someone is guilty unless there is a trial, or some really damning video.

        • Michelle Osborne
          July 5, 2012 at 11:53 pm

          Well im still waiting on the so called video they have,It’s on the news any other time…but anyway, make sure you to stay focused on this case…Good Night

      • Delron
        August 9, 2012 at 5:35 pm

        If it truly is a case of mistaken identity with Mr. Banks having been over 100 miles away at the time of the robberies, then it should be quite simple to corroborate this from not only witnesses to provide an alibi, but surely also some surveillance from the area he was in, perhaps a vehicle tracking device like OnStar, cellphone, etc.

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