General Crime

Christopher Jay Wootton, Alleged Bank Robber Booked Under $2 Million Bail

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A Novato bank robbery suspect who was shot by a Marin County sheriff’s deputy after a pursuit has been released from a hospital and booked into the county jail. Christopher Jay Wootton, 60, of Larkspur, was released from Marin General Hospital at 1 p.m. today and was booked into the jail for robbery and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, San Rafael police spokeswoman Margo Rohrbacher said.

Wootton’s bail is $2 million and a date for his arraignment has not been set, Rohrbacher said. San Rafael and Novato police, the county sheriff’s office and the Central Marin Police Authority are investigating whether Wootton is the “Cotton Ball Bandit” who robbed 11 banks in Marin County in the past year, Rohrbacher said. The law enforcement agencies are compiling the cases for the Marin County District Attorney’s Office’s review and possible filing of charges.

Wootton is suspected of robbing the Bank of the West on Grant Avenue in Novato on Dec. 11. A sheriff’s deputy followed the robber’s silver Saturn on U.S. Highway 101 and San Rafael streets until the Saturn crashed into a light pole in the 600 block of Las Gallinas Avenue near the Northgate Mall, San Rafael police said. Wootton got out of the car and ran across the street with a gun in his hand, Rohrbacher said. Wootton suffered non-life-threatening injuries when he confronted the deputy and was shot. He had surgery at Marin General Hospital.

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