Two admit guilt in series of takeover-style bank robberies

By City News Service

Two men pleaded guilty Aug. 29 to involvement in a series of takeover-style bank robberies that netted nearly $300,000.

Terry Mixon, 25, and Jeremy Gibbs, 23, are the third and fourth defendants to be convicted in the five robberies committed between September 2008 and January 2009.

Mixon and Gibbs — who pleaded guilty to a pair of robbery counts on the day their trial was supposed to start — both face seven-year prison terms, with sentencing set for Oct. 21 before Judge Leo Valentine Jr.

A third defendant, Tranes Goins, was convicted of two counts of robbery and being armed at the time of the crime. He was sentenced last month to 17 years in state prison.

Thaddeus Williams was convicted earlier this year of being the getaway driver in three of the holdups and was sentenced to 14 years and four months behind bars.

Deputy District Attorney Allen Brown said during Williams’ trial that the men — usually in groupings of three or four — committed takeover-style holdups in which they entered the banks with guns drawn, jumped the counter and ordered the manager to open the vault.

Brown said that on Sept. 30, 2008, three members of the group jumped out of a car and robbed a U.S. Bank branch in Del Mar of $136,807. The robbers wore masks and athletic gloves, and at least two of them had guns, according to the prosecutor, who said two people ordered to the ground were pepper-sprayed.

On Dec. 1, 2008, four robbers got out of a different car and held up a Pacific Western bank branch in Rancho Bernardo of more than $25,500. The robbers got away, but money stained with red dye and a .32-caliber pistol were found outside the bank.

The group also netted nearly $13,000 on Dec. 13, 2008, at a Wells Fargo branch in El Cajon; $103,000 on Dec. 22, 2008, at a U.S. Bank branch in San Marcos; and more than $13,000 on Jan. 24, 2009, from a Bank of America branch in Del Cerro.