Dwight "Visa" Davis: Police arrest suspect in rock-hurling robberies

Colorado Springs police have arrested the man they believe is responsible for a string of increasingly violent robberies in recent weeks, during which the robber brandished a rock or brick, menaced other victims with a knife or gun -- and even sprayed some people with lighter fluid and threatened to set them on fire. Dwight Davis, 51, was apprehended by officers responding to a report of a burglary in progress Monday night.

Davis is suspected of being the fellow behind more than a dozen robberies dating back to April, when a brick-toting fellow shook down a local Arby's for cash, followed by a similar rock-armed heist at a 7-Eleven. As Michael Roberts reported in an update last week, investigators subsequently issued an arrest warrant for Davis in those stone-age steals and more.

But in the past few weeks, the robber's weaponry has become a bit more sophisticated. He's allegedly hit convenience stores, gas stations, a hotel and more, and he's gone from wielding pieces of masonry to a knife, a handgun, and flammable liquids -- leading up to the arrest Monday night, when police say Davis was caught fleeing the scene of a burglary.

The city's official police blotter describes Davis as "for the most part transient and difficult to locate." According to this account in the Colorado Springs Gazette, locals at one apartment complex knew him by his nickname, "Visa."

But unlike the credit card, this Visa was everywhere you don't want to be. Look below to see our earlier coverage.

Update by Michael Roberts, 7:20 a.m. May 23: As Alan Prendergast reported last week, a Colorado Springs robber attempted a stick-up with something even more primitive than a stick -- namely, a rock. Now, the CSPD has identified the suspect in the crime as 51-year-old Dwight Davis, who's posed for department cameras in the past; see his mug shot below.

Moreover, the cops think Davis may have been behind several other similar crimes. In addition to the May 15 robbery attempts at a 7-Eleven at 2555 Delta Drive and D & S Liquor, just down the street at 2535 Delta Drive, he's also wanted for what are termed two "personal" robberies on the same stretch of road -- one on April 26, the other on (you guessed it) May 15.

And that's not all. Davis is also considered a suspect in a May 14 robbery at Ruskin Liquor, at 3690 Airport Road, and an Arby's at 393 South 8th Street that Prendergast mentions below. In those cases, the scofflaw in question allegedly threatened employees with either a rock or, in a comparatively modern touch, a brick.

At this writing, Davis remains at large. If you any information about his whereabouts, you're encouraged to phone 719-444-7000. Here's his aforementioned booking photo, followed by our previous coverage.

Original item, 12:12 p.m. May 18: In most instances, a thief without a gun would be considered less dangerous than one with his itchy finger on the trigger. But the escalating bad behavior of a rock-brandishing bandit who's shaken down businesses and pedestrians has Colorado Springs police working to locate and neutralize Mr. Blunt Object before somebody gets seriously messed up.

As we reported last month, the suspect's stone-age approach to crime first came to our attention after he walked into a 7-Eleven in southeast Colorado Springs brandishing a "large rock" and demanded money from the clerk. This was only a few days after someone armed with a brick robbed an Arby's on the west side of town.

And now there's been another your-cash-or-I'll-brain-you episode, at a liquor store just down the street from the previously pilfered 7-Eleven. According to the official Colorado Springs police blotter, a lone rockman entered the store last Tuesday night and demanded money. Employees weren't impressed, so he threw the rock at one of them and tried to punch another. Although he left without rock or cash, two citizens reported being approached by a knife-wielding man in the same general area later that night, seeking to relieve them of their money. He struck one of the victims but did not obtain any funds.

Police believe the same suspect may be responsible for all of these incidents. His penchant for violence and his weaponry seem to be on the increase. If you recognize this man, don't attempt to stone him yourself. Call 911.

More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "Man threatens to stab cupcake store employees using syringe filled with AIDS-infected blood."

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Alan Prendergast has been writing for Westword for over thirty years. He teaches journalism at Colorado College; his stories about the justice system, historic crimes, high-security prisons and death by misadventure have won numerous awards and appeared in a wide range of magazines and anthologies.
Contact: Alan Prendergast