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Suspected Bank Robber Enters Plea Before Judge

Robert Anthony Hodge faces 29 years in state prison at his March 21 sentencing, authorities said. He's been connected to robberies in 4S Ranch and Del Mar Heights

A man who admitted his involvement in six bank heists - - including a failed holdup near University Towne Centre in which an accomplice was shot by a security guard -- pleaded guilty today to a half-dozen robbery charges.

Robert Anthony Hodge faces a maximum 29 years in state prison when he is sentenced March 21 by Judge Peter Deddeh.

Hodge, 28, was charged with Laura Elshire and Casey Allen Wilson with holding up a Wells Fargo bank branch last June 11 near La Jolla Village Drive, during which Wilson was shot in the face and arm.

During that robbery, Wilson told the teller to hurry and repeated the demand before switching on an electric stun gun he was carrying, according to court testimony.

A security officer, Luis Apodaca, testified at an earlier hearing that he realized what was happening and told Elshire, who was wearing a blond wig, to lie down on the floor along with Wilson. Instead, the witness said, Wilson began striding quickly toward the guard, prompting him to fire two shots.

Wilson ran out of the building with wounds to his face and one of his arms and got into a waiting car, which sped off. The getaway vehicle was driven by Hodge.

Inside the bank, while the two male suspects fled, the security guard said he again ordered Elshire to surrender. She refused and tried to flee, but the guard hit her over the head, tackled her and took her into custody, Apodaca testified.

About 45 minutes later, Wilson was dropped off at a hospital for treatment. Hodge was captured in Mexico.

Elshire, 42, pleaded guilty in November to a robbery charge and also admitted possessing razor blades while in custody. She faces 33 years to life in prison, with sentencing set for Feb. 7, said Deputy District Attorney Chandelle Konstanzer.

Wilson, 28, pleaded guilty to charges stemming from two robberies and was sentenced to five years in prison.

San Diego police robbery Detective DeWayne Glazewski testified last year that Hodge, in an interview after his arrest, confessed to his involvement in the "Dum Dum" robbery series, so named because one of the robbers took a jar of "Dum Dum" lollipops during one of the holdups.

Hodge told the detective that he held up a US Bank branch in El Cajon on Oct. 26, 2012, and said Wilson was the getaway driver.

Hodge also told the detective that he teamed up again with Wilson to rob a US Bank in Santee on Nov. 21, 2012.

Hodge also confessed to robbing a Wells Fargo bank on Del Mar Heights Road on Jan. 3, 2013, and a Wells Fargo branch with Wilson near La Jolla Village last May 7, and additionally said he was joined by Wilson and another man in robbing a Wells Fargo bank in 4S Ranch last May 30, Glazewski said.

-- City News Service  

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