SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A man who participated in a series of armed holdups at restaurants and other businesses in Clairemont and La Jolla was sentenced Monday to eight years in state prison.
Duran Caldwell, 25, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to robbery charges.
Caldwell, Thomas Abel Nelson, Ryan Patrick Churchill and a 17-year-old boy were arrested in August 2013 during a traffic stop not far from the scene of an armed robbery at a Smashburger restaurant on Prospect Avenue in La Jolla.
Inside the defendants' car, officers found dark clothing, a black Airsoft semi-automatic replica handgun, a backpack filled with cash and a cashbox from Smashburger.
All defendants in the case have pleaded guilty.
The "Backdoor Bandits" moniker stemmed from the way the thieves almost always entered businesses through a rear door, according to San Diego police.
More than a dozen businesses were robbed during the series from May to August of 2013, including the El Cotixan restaurant on Clairemont Mesa Boulevard and Rigoberto's Taco Shop on La Jolla Boulevard near Westbourne Street.
A group of North County lifeguards were honored Thursday night with the Medal of Valor for saving the life of a boater who wound up stranded on a jetty last October.
A San Bernardino man was sentenced to 41 months in federal prison for carrying out a credit/debit fraud scheme that targeted retail stores, restaurants and hotels throughout San Diego County, prosecutors announced Thursday.
The defense team of a Marine accused in a fatal stabbing on a California Marine Corps base argued Thursday that the death was a tragic accident and the two friends were playing around with a knife.
A San Diego County sheriff's deputy was free on bail Thursday following his arrest by Riverside County authorities on suspicion of lewd acts with a child.
Testimony continued Thursday in the civil lawsuit surrounding the mysterious death of Rebecca Zahau as her boyfriend Jonah Shacknai took the stand.
Some San Diego communities are pushing back against dockless bikes and scooters cluttering the streets and sidewalks.
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer met with the Mexican foreign affairs secretary Thursday to discuss ways to improve economic prosperity and infrastructure, a spokeswoman said.
Two more schools face threats Thursday morning in Vista and city leaders are taking new action to stop them.