A 53-year-old man who wore a wig as he robbed a Wells Fargo bank in San Mateo last year pleaded no contest Friday after doctors determined he was competent to stand trial, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office. Gerard Joseph Myer, a transient, will spend up to two years in prison for the Oct. 1 crime after entering the no contest plea to felony robbery, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.
Myer’s defense attorney had expressed doubt to his client’s competency, but two doctors determined Myer was mentally fit to stand trial and a judge reinstated criminal proceedings in December. Myer, wearing a wig, hat and sunglasses, entered the Wells Fargo bank at 100 E. Fourth Ave. at about 12:05 p.m. on Oct. 1, handed a teller a note and ordered her to follow his instructions, prosecutors said.
He told her to fill his bag with money and the teller saw that Myer had what appeared to be a bomb detonator in his hand. The teller put $7,721 in the bag and Myer then walked out of the bank, according to the district attorney’s office. An employee of a nearby business had seen Myer adjusting his wig and hat in reflective glass just before the robbery, and, thinking it looked strange, took Myer’s picture.
Police circulated Myer’s photo after the robbery and a week later, Myer called police when his girlfriend began having a seizure. Responding officers recognized Myer and arrested him. A search warrant was obtained for his motel room, where police found the wig, hat and a distinctive T-shirt worn by the bank robber, according to Wagstaffe.
A phony detonator and $868 in cash were also discovered in the search of the motel room, prosecutors said. Myer pleaded no contest at his pretrial conference on Friday in exchange for a maximum sentence of two years in prison. The sentencing is scheduled for March 27. Myer remains in custody in lieu of $50,000 bail.
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