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VENTURA COUNTY NEWS

Robber of Thousand Oaks Bank Sentenced to 15 Years

August 22, 2000|TINA DIRMANN

A French national who said he robbed a Thousand Oaks bank to pay for acting lessons has been sentenced to 15 years in prison, authorities said.

Charley Saturmin Robinet, 24, of Hollywood, was one of two men sentenced Monday for the takeover robbery of the Wells Fargo Bank in Thousand Oaks. Marcus Timmons, 27, of Los Angeles, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for guarding the lobby with a loaded rifle, said Assistant U.S. Atty. Cheryl Murphy.

Edward B. Johnson, 29, of Hollywood, pleaded guilty to the robbery on April 18. He will be sentenced Oct. 23 and faces 35 years in prison.

Authorities said that when employees were slow in handing over the money, Robinet pistol-whipped one of the tellers. The men then led police on a chase through Ventura, where they were arrested after striking a police car and running over a spike strip on the Ventura Freeway.

Robinet attempted to run from police after the car chase but was caught with $33,500 on him, authorities said.

During his initial interviews with investigators, Robinet said he robbed the bank to cover the cost of acting classes at the Beverly Hills Playhouse, authorities said.

During the trial, however, Robinet denied participating in the robbery, saying his friends hit him on the head with a gun before going into the bank, and he was unconscious until the end of the chase.

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