SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A 24-year-old man accused of taking part in a series of convenience store robberies in San Diego pleaded not guilty Friday.
Luis Cruz Magana faces 16 felony counts in connection with the so-called "Dare Me Bandit" robberies of businesses throughout the San Diego area, Deputy District Attorney Martin Doyle said.
Magana held a gun in most of the holdups and fired the weapon in one of them, according to Doyle. San Diego police Lt. Andra Brown said he was arrested after La Mesa police shared information about the case.
The robberies, all carried out at gunpoint, occurred at 12 businesses in San Diego and at least five others in San Diego County between July 22 and Sept. 24, according to Brown. The targeted businesses were generally convenience stores and fast food restaurants.
The "Dare Me Bandit" moniker stemmed from the bold way the robber walked into businesses with a firearm already out, making his intentions clear.
Doyle said that on Aug. 4, he fired a bullet into a wall at a 7-Eleven store on Genesee Avenue when a clerk questioned whether the firearm was real.
Judge David Szumowski ordered Magana held on $700,000 bail and scheduled a readiness conference for Oct. 11 and a preliminary hearing for Oct. 18.
The prosecutor said codefendant Alex Sanchez, 23, was arraigned Thursday on the same counts.