A man dubbed the "Bearded Bandit" by law enforcement authorities and accused of 11 Northern California bank robberies, including two in Sacramento County, has been sentenced to nearly four years in prison.
Kenneth Michael Ellis, 31, of Stockton pleaded guilty in November to eight separate counts of unarmed bank robbery and agreed to pay more than $28,000 in restitution, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California. He also agreed to pay restitution to three banks – Chase Bank in Elk Grove, Wells Fargo Bank on Marconi Avenue in the Arden Arcade area and the Bank of Stockton in Rio Vista – as a result of robberies he committed in the Eastern District of California.
He was sentenced Thursday in federal court in Oakland to 45 months in prison.
According to the plea agreement, Ellis admitted using force or intimidation to rob banks in Fremont, Gilroy, Concord, Dublin, Pleasanton and Lafayette.
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Ellis typically entered the banks wearing dark glasses and a hat, presented tellers with a note demanding money.
He was arrested March 23, 2016, by Brentwood police. The Associated Press reported at the time that a drugstore customer saw a hairy-faced man shopping for razors and called police after recognizing the man as a result of media coverage of the robberies.