After a string of nearly 20 “armed, unarmed, and attempted” bank robberies, an Oakland man pleaded guilty to a U.S District Court Judge in relation to the various heists.
According to KPIX/CBS SF, a 50-year-old Oakland man by the name of Duane Markela divulged in front of a district court judge he was behind a 19 California bank robberies. In an eleven-months-long span, the Oaklandian combed the Bay Area and the Sierra Nevada regions, burglarizing numerous local banks and credit unions, as stated by a spokesperson of the U.S. Justice Department.
Adding insult to injury, Markela was arrested earlier in April — at an Oakland hospital, while his wife was giving.
East Bay Times reported earlier in the week that federal prosecutors said that Markela had confessed to ten armed bank robberies, seven unarmed bank robberies, and two attempted bank robberies, where he forcefully commanded bank employees to hand over lump sums of money.
Among the admissions — which have him responsible for $69,002 in total stolen cash— Markela, in front of U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer, revealed he was also behind the robbery of a popular El Camino Real-facing Wells Fargo in Palo Alto, according to an indictment, per Palo Alto Online.
His stealing spree began well over a year ago on March 21st of 2018, after an armed robbery at a Pleasant Hill credit union. Markela’s last run, before his arrest, was February 4th of this year at another Pal Alto Wells Fargo bank, that one located at 505 California Avenue.
Breyer has since set Makela’s sentencing for January 15th of 2020, and he will continue to remain in custody at the Santa Rita Jail, according to Alameda County records.
For each case of armed bank robbery, the now 50-year-old father may face upwards of 25 years behind bars, compounded by a quarter-million-dollar fine, to boot. The unarmed and attempted bank robbery charges each, too, boast an almost 20-year sentence and similarly expensive fine.
Image: Luke Air Force Base, via Airman 1st Class Aspen Reid