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GLENDALE : Suspected ‘Old Man Bandit’ to Stand Trial

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A 59-year-old man has been ordered to stand trial in the so-called “Old Man Bandit” robberies that occurred over a four-year span in Glendale and the San Gabriel and San Fernando valleys, a prosecutor said.

After testimony from 39 witnesses over nearly three weeks of hearings, Los Angeles Municipal Judge Patti Jo McKay on Wednesday ruled there was sufficient evidence to try Edwin W. Loftus of Glendale and set a Superior Court arraignment for Oct. 27, Deputy Dist. Atty. Karen Thorp said.

Loftus faces 38 felony counts--27 of second-degree robbery, four of receiving stolen property, three of assault with a deadly weapon, two of attempted robbery, one of evading arrest and one of illegal possession of a gun, Thorp said.

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If convicted on all charges, Loftus could receive up to 88 years and two months in state prison, the prosecutor said. He remains in custody in lieu of $1-million bail.

“We have made no offer of any kind (to Loftus),” Thorp said. “We will accept nothing less than the maximum (sentence).”

Defense attorney Garrett Zelen did not present a case. After Wednesday’s decision, Zelen declined to elaborate on his strategy, saying only, “We’re going to forge ahead.”

Authorities believe Loftus is the same man who targeted people making deposits mostly at Bank of America branches in a corridor along the Ventura and Foothill freeways in the east San Fernando Valley, Glendale, Burbank and the San Gabriel Valley. The robberies netted about $500,000, police said.

Loftus was arrested April 29 after a police stakeout of a Bank of America led to a car chase.

In a 126-page transcript of his statement to police, Loftus, who said he was a self-employed telecommunications expert, admitted committing 28 of the crimes to keep his business afloat and to support his mother.

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