Sheriff’s Department: 1 Deputy Killed, 1 Injured in Rancho Cordova

‘Bearded Bandit’ Sentenced to 45 Months in Prison for String of California Bank Robberies

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

OAKLAND — The so-called “Bearded Bandit” was sentenced Thursday to 45 months in prison for a string of bank robberies that covered much of Northern California.

Kenneth Michael Ellis, 31, of Stockton, pleaded guilty on Nov. 16 to eight counts of unarmed bank robbery and agreed to pay more than $28,000 in restitution, according to the FBI.

According to the plea agreement, Ellis admitted to using force or intimidation to rob banks in Fremont, Gilroy, Concord, Dublin, Pleasanton and Lafayette.

Ellis often entered banks wearing dark glasses and a hat. He approached tellers asking to cash a check and then presented notes that demanded money.

Ellis admitted to the following robberies:
$3,000 from a Chase Bank branch in Fremont, California, on February 12, 2016
$4,400 from a Wells Fargo Bank branch in Gilroy, California, on March 4, 2016
$3,180 from a Wells Fargo Bank branch in Concord, California, on March 11, 2016
$1,700 from a US Bank branch in Dublin, California, on March 15, 2016
$1,083 from a US Bank branch in Gilroy, California, on March 16, 2016
$1,434 from a US Bank branch in Fremont, California, on March 17, 2016
$5,145 from a Wells Fargo Bank branch in Pleasanton, California, on March 17, 2016
$4,600 from a Chase Bank branch in Lafayette, California, on March 21, 2016

As part of his plea bargain, he also agreed to pay restitution to the following banks:

$1,000 to Chase Bank located at 5010 Elk Grove Boulevard, Elk Grove, California (for a robbery on March 1, 2016)
$1,400 to Wells Fargo Bank located at 3518 Marconi Avenue, Sacramento, California (for a robbery on March 1, 2016)
$1,500 to Bank of Stockton located at 230 Main Street, Rio Vista, California (for a robbery on March 21, 2016).