Ah, the “Snowboarder Bandit,” the bank robber who wore wintering clothing while pulling 10 robberies at nine Orange County banks for a whopping $30,000 in 2011 and '12.
Michael Brandon Franks, 30, of Riverside, pleaded guilty to being that dude Thursday, setting himself up for 10 months and six months in that K2 of incarceration known as the state prison system at his scheduled Jan. 17 sentencing.
The trial was just about to open when Orange County Superior Court Judge David Hoffer offered to cap Franks' sentence at 10.5 years in exchange for guilty pleas to 10 felony counts of second-degree robbery and two felony counts of attempted second-degree robbery. Without the guilty plea, he was facing a maximum of 15 years in the cooler. However, Franks still faces charges for three bank robberies in Riverside County and one in Ventura County.
His Orange County robbery spree, which ran from Dec. 20, 2011, through March 21, 2012, included hitting the Schools First Federal Credit Union branch in Anaheim twice. Some robberies had him ditching his knit ski caps and dark shades for a motorcycle helmet with the shield pulled down.
The FBI and Southern California law enforcement spread photos from surveillance video taken at various heist sites to generate the tips that led to Franks being arrested at his Riverside home on May 4, 2012.