David Oliver, known as the infamous “Santa Claus Bank Robber,” was arrested early last week in Teller County for vehicular eluding, brandishing a gun and other related crimes. He was taken into jail, following a bizarre chase incident with local law enforcement on Rampart Range Road near Woodland Park.
The suspect established much notoriety in December 2019 when he claimed to be armed and robbed a bank in Colorado Springs. He left with an undisclosed amount of money. But after exiting the bank, he started throwing the money in the air and saying “Merry Christmas” before being taken into custody by the police. The incident earned Oliver the nickname, “Santa Bank Robber.”
However, the Santa Bank Robber’s run-in with law enforcement didn’t end there.
The recent incident all started when a Teller County Sheriff’s deputy tried to pull over a Ford Expedition that had no license plates on Loy Creek Road near Rampart Reservoir. Oliver’s vehicle then stopped on Rampart Range Road after not pulling over for a mile.
When he pulled over and the deputy stopped, Oliver reportedly held a gun out of the window and shouted, “I’ve got a gun and I’m not going back to jail.” Oliver drove off in his vehicle, and the deputy pursued him for a short distance. Oliver then threw the gun out of the window of his car.
The deputy then stopped to recover the gun and left Oliver driving away. A second deputy arrived on the scene as backup and he noticed Oliver’s vehicle backing up. He ordered Oliver to get out of the car and then the suspect drove off again.
The second deputy then started pursuing Oliver for a short distance. “Now we have two deputies that were in pursuit of this person,” Teller County Sheriff Commander Greg Couch said. “Then one of our supervisors, since the guy was no longer armed and he was running from us and we didn’t have any charges on him such as brandishing a weapon, they decided to call the pursuit off.”
Oliver then drove further down the road and interacted with some people camping. “As the deputies were sitting in the road talking about it, he (Oliver) had driven on down to where he found some campers that were camped along Rampart Range Road,” Couch explained. “And he told them that he was running from the sheriff’s office and that he would surrender to them (they were just civilians) and that he would not surrender to us. And they were pretty confused.”
Since the incident, the campers posted a video of their interaction with Oliver that has gone viral. In the video called, “We had an interesting encounter with the ‘Santa Bank Robber,” Oliver is seen approaching the campers, talking to them and then speeding away recklessly.
“I’m an outlaw and a renegade, ok?” Oliver said in the video. “The sheriff’ is down there and they’ve got a roadblock looking for my a**. Get on the radio, you mister, get on your smartphone. I surrender to you boys, I’m not surrendering to the sheriff, I’m surrendering to the Honeycutt boys. I’m the Santa Clause bank robber from last year!”
According to Couch, after Oliver was seen speeding away from the campers, he eventually returned to an area where the deputies had set up a roadblock and turned himself into the authorities.
Oliver was then taken to the Teller County Jail and charged with menacing, vehicular eluding, possession of a weapon, (all class five felonies), and a misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence of alcohol. As of press time, Oliver was still in the county jail with a $2,000 bond.
Click here to watch the video the campers recorded of the Santa Clause Bank Robber.