Berkeley

Man Charged With Committing Four Bank Robberies in Berkeley

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An Oakland man with a long record of robbing banks has been charged with four counts of second-degree robbery for a string of recent bank robberies in Berkeley, police and prosecutors said.

Bryan Keith Richardson, 59, was charged and arraigned on Monday and is scheduled to return to court on Feb. 14 to enter a plea.

Richardson, who was arrested in Oakland at about 7:45 a.m. last Thursday, is being held at the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin in lieu of $510,000 bail.

Richardson has prior felony convictions for second-degree robbery in Los Angeles County in 1988 and Solano County in 2000 and was on probation for a recent federal bank robbery conviction at the time of the alleged robberies in Berkeley.

Richardson is charged with robbing the Mechanics Bank at 2301 Shattuck Ave. at Bancroft Way on Jan. 14, the Mechanics Bank at 1801 Solano Ave. at Colusa Avenue on Jan. 22 and the Wells Fargo Bank at 1800 Solano Ave. near Colusa Avenue on Jan. 27.

Richardson is also charged with robbing another bank on Jan. 9 but the details of that incident haven't been released. In addition, Pinole police believe Richardson robbed the Mechanics Bank at 2690 Pinole Valley Road in their city at about 9:20 a.m. last Wednesday.

Berkeley police Officer Donovan Edwards wrote in a probable cause statement that in the Jan. 14 robbery at the Mechanics Bank on Shattuck Avenue Richardson approached the teller and said, "This is a robbery. I have a gun, you don't want to die, give me $3,000 in 50s and 20s."

Police said Richardson fled the bank with about $3,640 in cash. Edwards said that in the Jan. 22 robbery at the Mechanics Bank on Solano Avenue Richardson demanded $3,000 in cash from the teller in a "threatening manner" and fled with about $3,000 in cash.

Edwards wrote that in the Jan. 27 robbery at the Wells Fargo Bank on Solano Avenue Richardson said, "This is a robbery! I want 100s and 50s. Hurry up!"

He fled the bank with about $2,980 in cash, according to police.

Edwards said that in addition to the Berkeley bank robberies Richardson also is believed to have committed bank robberies in neighboring cities.

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