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Bandit Says He Rode Bus to 3 Bank Holdups

October 17, 1985

A 30-year-old man, who said he rode the bus to three banks in the San Fernando Valley so he could rob them, pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court to three counts of bank robbery.

Walter G. Compton, 30, told U.S. District Judge William Matthew Byrne Jr. that he committed the robberies to finance a cocaine habit.

Compton admitted walking into the California First Bank in Panorama City on Aug. 12 with a shotgun and taking $10,568 from several tellers' drawers after ordering customers and employees to lie on the floor. He said he robbed the same bank of $728 in July, after pretending to have a gun.

That same month, Compton said, he robbed a Bank of America branch in Sherman Oaks of $300, again pretending to have a gun.

Compton, who was arrested soon after the third robbery, faces a maximum sentence of 65 years in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 5.

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