Fugitive Chiefs superfan arrested, linked to more robberies

A Kansas City Chiefs superfan who had been on the run for four months after being charged in a December bank robbery has been arrested in California and accused in a criminal complaint of perpetrating a string of robberies in the Midwest, according to court documents unsealed Monday.

Federal authorities arrested Xaviar Babudar, 29, near Sacramento on Friday. Babudar has been charged with bank theft and transporting stolen property across state lines for a previously unsolved March 2022 robbery in Iowa. The FBI has also linked him to six other unsolved robberies and attempted robberies of banks or credit unions from April 2022 through December in Iowa, Minnesota, Tennessee and Nebraska. In total, authorities say Babudar stole more than $800,000.

Babudar will appear in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California in Sacramento on Monday afternoon. A federal grand jury will hear the case. The two federal charges each carry a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, according to the affidavit.

Babudar's cellphone was placed in the same locations as the previously unsolved bank robberies and attempted robberies, according to an affidavit filed in support of the complaint. Authorities allege that he purchased and redeemed more than $1 million in chips from various casinos in Missouri, Kansas and Illinois from April to December 2022.

Babudar was known on social media and among the Chiefs fan base as "Chiefsaholic," a die-hard fan who dressed in a gray wolf suit for games and often was shown on TV. He was first arrested Dec. 16 in Oklahoma and charged in a robbery of the Tulsa Teachers Credit Union. He pleaded not guilty and was released on bond in February before removing his ankle monitor and disappearing in March.

Frank Frasier, an attorney for Payton Garcia, a former teller who according to Bixby police had a pistol pointed at her during the Dec. 16 robbery, said Monday that his client is "ecstatic with the news that he has been caught."

"She's breathing a sigh of relief," Frasier said.

Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler said in a statement Monday that his office will work with the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Western District of Missouri to determine "the next steps in holding him accountable."

"I am thankful for the hard work of the FBI in finding and arresting Xaviar Babudar," Kunzweiler said. "As Tulsa County was the first jurisdiction to arrest and charge Babudar in December 2022, it is the goal of my office to prosecute him in Tulsa County District Court prior to a federal case. As a fugitive from justice from our jurisdiction after his bond was reduced over our objection, Babudar posed an extreme risk to the public. I am grateful that no other citizen or law enforcement officer was subjected to the violence he demonstrated in Tulsa County, Oklahoma."

Tulsa-area bondsman Michael Lloyd, who said he has been looking for Babudar since December, told ESPN that he paid an $80,000 bond forfeiture fee Friday, just minutes before he received a call from the FBI that Babudar had been apprehended.

An ESPN investigation found that Babudar had a troubled upbringing and a history of legal trouble and that much of what he posted about himself on social media was untrue. He often posted screenshots of betting slips, including $5,000 bets on the Chiefs to win this year's Super Bowl and quarterback Patrick Mahomes to win NFL regular-season MVP. Both were winners. In court documents filed after his December arrest, Babudar listed himself as homeless, and he has not had any consistent income since October 2021, according to the FBI affidavit.