A Riverside man dubbed the “Snowboarder Bandit” because of his ski-type clothing and youthful appearance pleaded guilty Thursday to robbing banks throughout Orange County, including one in Newport Beach and three in Irvine.
Michael Brandon Franks, 30, was convicted of 10 felony counts of second-degree robbery and two felony counts of attempted second-degree robbery, according to the Orange County district attorney’s office.
Franks committed 10 robberies at nine banks between December 2011 and March 2012, the Daily Pilot reported.
In each of the robberies, Franks entered the bank wearing distinctive headgear that included a motorcycle helmet or beanie and sunglasses. He then slipped the bank teller a note that stated he had a gun and demanded money, prosecutors said.
Irvine police, with the assistance of FBI agents and Orange County sheriff’s deputies, arrested Franks at his home in Riverside in May 2012.
At the time of his arrest, authorities found money “fanned out” in the passenger side of Franks’ vehicle, a ripped up demand note and several used Band-Aids that were used to cover his fingertips, according to the district attorney’s office.
Franks faces up to 10 years and six months in state prison when he is sentenced in January.
Hannah Fry is a Times Community News staff writer.