Trial ordered for alleged 'Dapper Bandit' - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Trial ordered for alleged 'Dapper Bandit'

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A parolee who allegedly pulled off six robberies attributed to the "Dapper Bandit" - including two heists in San Diego - must stand trial on felony charges, a judge ruled Tuesday.

John Richard Martinez, 42, is charged in San Diego County with robbing a Mira Mesa check-cashing store on Dec. 20 and a Point Loma bank a week later.

He was arrested New Year's Eve as he tried to cross into the United States from Mexico.

Karen McCoy testified that she was working around noon at USA Checks Cashed that day five days before Christmas when a man she identified as Martinez came in with a gun, demanding that she open the safe.

McCoy said she explained to the robber that she couldn't open the safe immediately because it was on a timer.

"He kept telling me to hurry up, that he was going to shoot me," the witness testified.

McCoy said she ended up giving the robber about $1,000 from her cash drawer and he left.

Jessica Mathis, a teller at a U.S. Bank branch in Point Loma, testified that she was robbed by a man with a gun about 9 a.m. on Dec. 27.

Mathis said she got a "weird vibe" from the robber, who was dressed oddly in a hat and nice jacket.

"It didn't look like the outfit he was wearing fit for him," the witness testified.

Mathis said she was looking down when the robber approached.

"He said, `Sweetie, this is no joke. Give me all your money,"' Mathis testified.

She said the robber - who she identified as Martinez - crumpled up the money she gave him, as if he were making sure there were no bank dye-packs included.

The teller said she saw Martinez drive away in a blue car.

San Diego police Detective Thomas Levenberg testified that Martinez was driving his girlfriend's blue Mazda when he was stopped at the border.

Martinez initially denied pulling off the robberies, but after speaking to his girlfriend on the phone, admitted the two holdups in San Diego and four others in Fresno, King County and Westlake Village, Levenberg said.

The parolee also admitted cutting off a GPS bracelet before he left Fresno, the detective testified.

During a search of the car, authorities found an outfit consisting of a suit jacket, driver's cap and dress shoes and another that included a Nike hat and flannel jacket, Levenberg said.

Judge Amalia Meza ruled that enough evidence had been presented at the preliminary hearing for Martinez to stand trial May 5 on two counts of robbery.

A readiness conference was set for March 29.

Martinez - who has a 1992 robbery conviction and a prior escape conviction - faces up to 57 years to life in state prison if convicted, Levenberg said.

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