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'Snowboarder Bandit' Convicted of CdM, OC Bank Robberies

Michael Brandon Franks, 30, or Riverside, pleads guilty to 10 felony counts of second degree robbery and two felony counts of attempted robbery in connection with 10 bank robberies around Orange County.

(Photo courtesy Orange County Sheriff's Department)
(Photo courtesy Orange County Sheriff's Department)
A man nicknamed the “Snowboarder Bandit,”  who used Band-Aids to cover his fingertips, was convicted Thursday of committing 10 bank robberies in Orange County, including one in Corona del Mar, the district attorney's office reported.

Michael Brandon Franks, 30, of Riverside, pleaded guilty to a court offer of 10 felony counts of second degree robbery and two felony counts of attempted second degree robbery. Franks faces a maximum of 10 years and six months in state prison when he is sentenced on Jan. 17, 2014.

Prosecutors said the bank robberies occurred between December 2011 and March 2012 at nine different banks in Orange County. The bank chains included Union Bank in Corona del Mar, located at 2865 E. Coast Highway, Bank of America in Anaheim, Chase Bank in Laguna Hills and Laguna Niguel, Citibank in Irvine, two robberies at the Schools First Federal Credit Union branch in Anaheim, US Bank in Irvine and Ladera Ranch and Wells Fargo in Irvine.

Franks is accused of attempting to rob a bank teller at the Citibank branch in Irvine and the US Bank branch in Irvine where he is accused of committing robberies before.

In each of the cases, Franks is accused of carrying out similar acts: entering the bank wearing distinctive headgear which included a beanie or motorcycle helmet and sunglasses, approaching a teller and slipping the teller a note stating he had a gun and demanding money.

Prosecutors said Franks took approximately $30,000 from the banks.

He was arrested at his home in Riverside on May 4, 2012. At the time of his arrest, prosecutors said Franks had money fanned out in the passenger side of his vehicle, a ripped up demand note and several used Band-Aids he used to cover his fingertips.

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