SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. – A San Dimas man was sentenced Tuesday to 321 years to life in state prison for robbing multiple stores in San Bernardino County. Daniel Robert Rodriguez, 45, was found guilty September 7, 2013, by a jury of six counts of Second Degree Robbery and two counts of Attempted Second Degree Robbery. Rodriguez has two prior strike convictions.
In 2009, after having served three separate prison terms for robberies committed in Los Angeles and Riverside counties, Rodriguez began a string of robberies in San Bernardino County. Rodriguez was dubbed the “Beanie Bandit” by law enforcement officers because he wore a beanie while committing his crimes.
“His first four robberies were of Rite Aid stores in Ontario, Fontana and Redlands,” said Deputy District Attorney Tom Colclough, who was assigned to the case. “He then stopped committing robberies for about one year, likely because the department of corrections put an ankle bracelet on him.”
According to Colclough, the day after the bracelet was removed Rodriguez continued with his robbery spree. In 2010 he robbed two stores in Ontario and one in Montclair and committed an attempted robbery of two other stores in Ontario and Fontana.
The day after the attempted robbery of the Fontana store, Rodriguez was stopped in the suspected getaway car by Los Angeles Sheriff’s deputies. After further inspection, deputies discovered stolen property from a previous robbery in the vehicle, along with clothing and the infamous beanie resembling that which had been worn by the suspect during previous robberies.
According to Colclough, in each robbery, the defendant would enter a store where he normally found a young female clerk and claim to have a gun. He would then point and say, “Give me the money or I will blow your (expletive) head off.”
Rodriguez would then point an object in his pocket at the clerks. According to a witness in one of the robberies the defendant had what appeared to be a firearm in his waste area, but no gun was ever recovered by the police or pulled out in the open and displayed during any of the incidents.
“No clerks were ever physically injured but many of them suffered a lot of emotional trauma from the experience,” Colclough said. “During a 2009 Redlands robbery the defendant even took the young clerk’s high school class ring.”
Below is a photo of the defendant in Ontario in 2010. In the photo,the male manager stepped in when a female employee was threatened by the defendant.