West Haven Man Pleads Guilty to January 2011 New Alliance Bank Robbery

The State’s Attorney for the Judicial District of Ansonia-Milford announced today that JAMES BIEU, 51 of West Haven, plead guilty today before Judge Richard Arnold to one count of Robbery in the First Degree as a Persistent Dangerous Felony Offender for the January 29, 2011 robbery of the New Alliance bank located at 322 Main Street.

According to Court documents and statements made in court, the defendant entered the Wachovia Bank at 10:16 a.m. and passed a note to the teller indicating he knew where the clerk lived and would shoot her unless she turned over all the money behind the counter.  The defendant made off with $5584.00 before being apprehended by two alert citizens who recognized the robbery in progress and detained Bieu on the ground until West Haven Police arrived and secured his arrest.  The defendant pleaded guilty and received an enhanced penalty as a Persistent Dangerous Felony Offender having been previously convicted of Attempted Assault in the First Degree in 1979.

The defendant earlier pleaded guilty to a bank robbery in the New Haven Judicial District and will receive a 20-year concurrent sentence on that case as well. In court Wednesday, the State indicated the defendant will also be charged by Federal authorities in January and it is the understanding of the parties that the defendant will receive a 20-year concurrent sentence in Federal District Court in New Haven. He will serve his sentences in Federal custody. The defendant’s Milford case was continued until January 30, 2012 for sentencing.

“I wish to thank all the different agencies: the New Haven State’s Attorney’s Office, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the West Haven Police Department who cooperated in successfully prosecuting James Bieu,” State’s Attorney Kevin D. Lawlor said.

“In particular, I want to thank the brave citizens who risked their own lives to apprehend this dangerous felon outside the bank. While I don’t recommend citizens taking such risks, their actions and those of the quick responding officers of the West Haven Police Department took a 10 time convicted felon off the streets and led directly to a severe sentence,” Lawlor said.

The defendant’s previous criminal record contains multiple convictions for Robbery and Burglary, Escape and Attempted Assault in the First Degree.

Press Inquiries may be submitted via the Ansonia-Milford State’s Attorney’s Office website at www.amstatesattorney.org or by phone (203) 874-3361