General Crime

* Plaid Bandit Pleads Not Guilty to Allegedly Robbing 4 Banks

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A man dubbed the “Plaid Bandit” who is accused of robbing four San Francisco banks since June 2010 pleaded not guilty today to 10 felony robbery and burglary charges. Donald Booth, 68, was arrested by the FBI and San Francisco police on Oct. 18 at his San Francisco home on suspicion of robbing the four banks– most recently an East West Bank at 555 Montgomery St. in the Financial District on Oct. 6, prosecutors said.

Booth was also charged with robbing three other downtown banks last year: a Bank of the West at 505 Montgomery St. on June 10, 2010; a City National Bank at 150 California St. on June 21, 2010; and a U.S. Bank at 201 Montgomery St. on July 27, 2010, prosecutors said. In the most recent robbery, police said Booth walked into the East West Bank, brandished a handgun and demanded money from a teller, then fled with the cash. Before being identified and arrested, the suspect was dubbed the “Plaid Bandit” because he wore plaid shirts in some of the robberies, according to the FBI. Booth pleaded not guilty in San Francisco Superior Court this morning to six second-degree robbery charges and four second-degree burglary charges.

He was ordered held in lieu of $1.1 million bail and will return to court on Nov. 30. San Francisco Assistant District Attorney Omid Talai, who is prosecuting the case, said Booth has multiple prior convictions. More information about the case was expected to be released at a news conference scheduled for 10:30 a.m. with Talai and District Attorney George Gascon.

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