Contra Costa County DA files pair of robbery charges against “Bearded Bandit”

Photo Credit: East County Today

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY (KRON) — The Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office has filed two robbery charges against an alleged serial bank robber also known as the “Bearded Bandit,” according to district attorney’s office spokeswoman Bobbi Mauler.

Kenneth Ellis, a 30-year-old Stockton resident, is accused of stealing more than $24,000 from 11 banks across multiple counties. The first charges he’s facing are in connection with robberies in Concord and Lafayette, according to the district attorney’s office.

His alleged spree, which began Feb. 12, ended when he was apprehended Wednesday in Brentwood after a citizen reported seeing him at about 3 p.m. with his signature full, trimmed beard in a Safeway.

Brentwood police officers did not immediately find Ellis at the Safeway, but the Mustang he was suspected of using was located in the parking lot, police said.

Photos: Bearded Bandit Arrest

Police said he came back to the vehicle after trying to ditch his distinctive look, shaving his head bald and shaving his beard into a goatee.

The officers eventually conducted a traffic stop on him and he surrendered peacefully. He was detained by Brentwood police before Concord police investigators arrived to arrest him.

Ellis was charged with two counts of second-degree robbery by the district attorney’s office for his alleged offenses within the county’s jurisdiction.

He allegedly robbed a Chase Bank branch at 3492 Mt. Diablo Blvd. in Lafayette around 3:30 p.m. Monday as well as a Wells Fargo bank located at 4599 Clayton Road in Concord on March 11.

Video: Bearded Bandit Arrest Video

Ellis will be arraigned on these charges Monday in Martinez, according to the district attorney’s office.

He’s also a suspect in bank robberies in the Bay Area counties of Solano, Alameda and Santa Clara along with neighboring Monterey, Yolo and Sacramento counties.

Bay City News contributed to this report

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