Vanity Fair profiles The eXile: "Gutsy...visceral...serious journalism...abusive, defamatory...poignant...paranoid...and right!"
MSNBC: Mark Ames and Yasha Levine
Broke the Koch Brothers' Takeover of America
Dispatch / October 9, 2009
By Yasha Levine

Bank robbery, High Desert

We had ourselves one hell of a crime-filled summer out here in the greater metropolitan area of Victorville. And it’s only getting hotter as the High Desert transitions into the icy nights and gale-force winds of autumn that are starting to roar through. Case-in-point: just in the past week, there were three four bank robberies, a triple homicide, a couple of deadly shootings and a foiled drive-by (and that’s not counting all the usual petty crime and DUI manslaughter stuff).

Hell, late last week I was sitting at home at my computer when I heard a banging noise coming from my backyard. I looked out to see a couple of punks kicking in the fence of a neighboring house. I yelled at them from my window to scare them off, but they were having too much fun and making too much of a racket to hear me. They had nearly breached my neighbor’s perimeter, so I had nothing else to do but grab the video camera lying in front of me and tape it for a few seconds. I thought about grabbing my guns, but this is Victorville, those kids might have TOWs or M4s for all I know.


What can you expect of the bored little shits? Especially when they see the kind of Clint Eastwood-inspired scuffle that went down a few blocks from my house almost every day?

‘Gran Torino’ part two

Army vet fires at gang member


After learning a man in a suspicious vehicle had threatened his brother and family, an Army veteran in his camouflage gear grabbed his weapon and fired a shotgun blast at the passing vehicle being driven by a gang member, according to Karen Hunt, spokeswoman for the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Victorville station.

No one was hit in the incident Tuesday.

Investigators later arrested the driver, Ty Clemmons, for making terrorist threats, authorities confirmed. The shooter was taken to a local hospital for a psychiatric hold, Hunt said.

The single shotgun projectile became lodged in the garage of a couple’s home about 200 feet away.

“We only moved in about two months ago and I was very nervous yesterday,” said Rosa Cervin, 22, who was at home at the time with her 2-year-old child.

Or this mysterious dirt driveway shoot ’em up that describes something right out of No Country for Old Men:

Three slain in Phelan; suspect arrested

October 05, 2009 11:02 AM


PHELAN • A 55-year-old man allegedly gunned down three people whose bodies were found on a road outside a local residence, according to San Bernardino County Sheriff’s officials.

Deputies from the Victor Valley sheriff’s station responded to 911 calls about a shooting around 7:50 p.m. Sunday in the 4500 block of Begonia Road.

Phelan residents Adam Owen, 41, Robert Light, 40, and Angela Leird, 45, were found in the roadway with gunshot wounds to the upper body. All were pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.

Officials arrested suspect Dennis Flechtner, 55, of Phelan. Flechtner was booked into Victor Valley Jail and is being held without bail, officials said.

If those kids stick around here, it’ll just be a matter of time before they move up to more exciting and better-paying gigs. Like robbing banks. And why not? The experts can call it a “recession” or whatever they want, but for regular folks trying to eke out a living where there’s not enough bailout or stimulus money to go around, it sure feels like a genuine Depression. The official unemployment stats for the region hover somewhere around 15%, but unofficially it’s most likely double that, at least. And every real depression needs a real Robin Hood, or at least a John Dillinger, to steal from the filthy, parasitic rich and give to the poor: themselves. The Great Depression had their bank-robber folk heroes, and it looks like we’re going to have ours, too.

In less than two weeks, four banks have been robbed here. Four! And two of them were robbed on one day by seemingly unconnected crews. That’s a serious number for a small suburban outpost like Victorville. And just in case you might think that crime doesn’t pay, allow me to point out that three of the four robberies were a shining success. These guys know how to claw-back some of that bailout money!

Read em and weep, with joy:

Victorville bank robbery

Four armed robbers take over bank

Investigators search for three armed men, a woman

September 30, 2009 4:44 PM


VICTORVILLE • Four robbers walked into the Wachovia Bank on Hesperia Road, ordered customers to the ground and made off with an undisclosed amount of money Wednesday afternoon, according to officials.

The three armed men and a woman, all dressed in dark clothing and wearing ski masks, hit the bank around 1:50 p.m. when four employees and 10 customers, including children, were inside, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Victorville station officials said.

After the robbers ordered everyone to the ground,  two of the men jumped over the bank’s counters while the woman walked around the side demanding money from the tellers. The third armed man kept watch at the front of the bank.

One of the calls sheriff’s dispatch received was a customer who was walking into the bank, saw everyone on the ground and ran out to call 911.

However sheriff’s officials said they actually started receiving calls moments before the robbery happened, with witnesses calling in the license plate number of a suspicious vehicle, Karen Hunt, spokeswoman for the Victorville station said. That vehicle was found to be reported stolen earlier Wednesday from Victorville.

The thing you gotta love about this robbery is the way the local cops handled it: they got too excited, probably drove too fast and crashed right into a car on their way to the bank. While the guy they hit was being loaded into an ambulance, the gang of robbers was making a clean getaway.

At the same exact time, a guy was robbing a bank a few miles away in Apple Valley. But it looks like he didn’t plan his escape route very well:

Bank robber quickly nabbed in A.V.

September 30, 2009 3:58 PM


APPLE VALLEY • Minutes after a bank robbery took place in Apple Valley, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s deputies caught the man responsible a short distance from the bank Wednesday, officials said.

Rogelio Vincent Roman, 20, reportedly walked into the Bank of America on Highway 18 and Navajo Road and handed the teller a note demanding money, according to officials with the Apple Valley sheriff’s station. Though the teller didn’t see a weapon, officials said she complied with the man’s request and then he fled from the building.

Deputies caught up with Roman near the corner of Powhatan and Yakima roads, and recovered most of the stolen money.

But here’s a successful one-man heist that took place early this week:

Robber hits US Bank

October 05, 2009 4:31 PM


VICTORVILLE • The US Bank on Seventh Street near Desert Knoll Drive was robbed Monday afternoon — the third local bank heist in less than a week, officials said.

A man made off with an undisclosed amount of cash from one of the teller’s registers, and officials are asking for the public’s help in tracking him down.

The robber is described as a heavy-set, white man with a beard, around 6-feet tall and in his 50s, according to Deputy Osvaldo Pelayes with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Victorville station. He was last seen running down the alley behind the bank toward Corta Drive.

As I was writing this, news came in about another solo bank robbery that took place just down the street from my favorite burrito shop:

DCB hit by robber

Fourth bank robbed in Victor Valley in less than two weeks

October 09, 2009 11:24 AM


VICTORVILLE • At least one man robbed the Desert Community Bank on La Paz Drive in Victorville shortly after 10 a.m. Friday, officials said.

Investigators have not released if this was an armed robbery but it does not appear anyone was hurt.

The man made off with an undisclosed amount of money.

Witnesses stated the man was wearing a backpack.

Officials located a backpack believed to belong to the suspect at the back of a nearby Laundromat. Due to the clothing found in the backpack, officials believe the man changed clothing after robbing the bank, according to reports.

There you have it, folks. This is what a modern Depression-era city looks like. Now, I’m no criminologist, but I have a feeling this is only going to get worse. So be on the lookout for our very own Bonnie and Clydes, Baby Face Nelsons and John Dillingers who are sure to start popping up in greater numbers as our scam economy implodes. These are the antiheroes we’ll be rooting for and celebrating for the next half-century.

More Victorville…

Yasha Levine is a McMansion inhabitin’ editor of The eXiled. He is currently stationed in Victorville, CA. You can reach him at levine [at]

Read more: , , , , , , Yasha Levine, Dispatch

Got something to say to us? Then send us a letter.

Want us to stick around? Donate to The eXiled.

Twitter twerps can follow us at


Add your own

  • 1. Your Future  |  October 9th, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    Your composition was an excellent read.

    Yes, it will get worse – much, much worse. If you want to see where the future lies for Victorville and, indeed, all of America, look no further than Mexico, or Guatamala, or Haiti.

    The horrors of the end times have only just begun. The curtain has risen and the first few actors have entered the stage. All is set for the long and painful journey from one kind of pain to another kind.

    There will be no forgiveness, there will be no mercy. The population will have to shrink by nintety percent within the next hundred or so years – a mere eyeblink on the path of social history, due to depletion of oil, minerals, soil, and social cohesion due to those in power and the wealthy, who have stolen from the people and the land for too long.

  • 2. Necronomic Justice  |  October 9th, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    Note to self: Don’t wear the black hoodie near any banks until things cool down again.

  • 3. Bartleby  |  October 9th, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    That’s a real nice view behind your house. Thanks to those punks, all the scorpions and tumbleweeds are gonna get in.

  • 4. Flip  |  October 9th, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    The chick looks hot in that shot. Visiting makes me wonder why there is only 1 pic from each stickup. She’s still hot, need more pics of her 🙂

  • 5. Realist  |  October 9th, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    Not like Robin Hood or John Dillinger. More in the likeness of psycho murder rampage against anyone with more than two cents to rub together. I just hope some of the enterprising raiders will set up shop in the District of Columbia.

  • 6. james  |  October 9th, 2009 at 5:01 pm

    Whats the point of robbing a bank in 6 months time the value of the dollar will be worthless. They’ll be using it as toilet paper.

  • 7. Necronomic Justice  |  October 9th, 2009 at 6:52 pm

    @4. Flip

    Never trust a big butt and ski mask.
    That girl is poison.

  • 8. az  |  October 9th, 2009 at 6:59 pm

    Realist: What’s to say that they haven’t already, a long time ago?

  • 9. adolphhitler  |  October 10th, 2009 at 5:37 am

    @4 and 7…i can see the new playboy photo layout “bankrobber babes of victorville”

  • 10. brian  |  October 10th, 2009 at 7:54 am

    Halloween coming up
    Next group of robberies may feature interesting costumnes and masks

  • 11. PlainWords  |  October 10th, 2009 at 10:30 am

    Other articles about that last one, the DCB robbery, mention that the robber got away on a mountain bike. Nothing like low-tech to really put one over on the authorities.

    I just hope that the money is being funnelled into revolutionary organizations that do stuff like feed children and indoctrinate them against capitalism.

    Oh, and BTW, i’m a fucking geek

  • 12. Necronomic Justice  |  October 10th, 2009 at 7:12 pm

  • 13. Jed Wilson  |  October 10th, 2009 at 7:44 pm

    If somebody tries a bank robbery here in Idaho I’ll pull my Glock 23 and light em up boy-o!

    Exactly why I left Cali decades ago.

    Also carry an M4 in my Honda trunk.

    Looooove Idaho.

  • 14. Snarky  |  October 11th, 2009 at 1:03 am

    This is why I love eXiledOnline

  • 15. Chris  |  October 11th, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    You mean this wasn’t published to to the hipster nation in “Vice” first? Wow. What are all of the t-shirt printers, djs, and bike repairmen going to do without their lifeline into the environment of the average american desert refugee? They will certainly have an inexplicable extra surge of ennui, deriving from the fact that they are less cool for not being tapped in… poor ignorant fools…

  • 16. Expat in BY  |  October 11th, 2009 at 11:03 pm

    Next time I’m in Idaho, I guess I should check the trunks of all Hondas for spare firearms to steal. Oh boy.

  • 17. Necronomic Justice  |  October 12th, 2009 at 10:45 am

    @15. Chris, I don’t know about Vice readers, but I finished up a plate of left over ennui for dinner last night.

  • 18. Joe Blow  |  October 16th, 2009 at 9:32 am

    funny thing in the pic with the first story…

    “The bullet came from a shooting nearly 200 blocks away where, “

  • 19. Living in Soddom  |  July 26th, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    Moved here 3 years ago from MO. (Helendale)Have had 2 home break-ins, 3 vandalisms to our home, 1 car break in (driveway), and last stopped when 3 guys were shoving and cussing around kids and a woman. Stopped and seperated them twice, when they went at it, a little boy was knocked over and a woman took a right. When I stepped in, the 2 fighting each other beat me. One with his fists, one with a crowbar. When Dipity (deputy) showed, knew them all, knew the were on parole, and KNEW they were squatters. Broke facial bones, fractured jaw, lost teeth, and have lost most vision in right eye. $17k in hospital bills. Of all this crime, they caught only the guy with crowbar. Had been out about a month for manslaughter. Born and raised here, left for 15 years, and came back. Selling houses for losses just to leave. The deputy told us to stay locked in our homes if not at work. HAVE WITNESSES to that. WE ARE OUT!!!!

Leave a Comment

(Open to all. Comments can and will be censored at whim and without warning.)


Required, hidden

Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed