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Bank robber gets what he wanted Neal Putnam | Sat, Jul 20 2013 12:00 PM

A bank robber who held up the Union Bank at 410 H St. in Chula Vista on June 10 has been sentenced to three years in state prison.

Justice was fast for Todd Eugene Blethen, 39, as he pleaded guilty June 24 and asked for immediate sentencing just two weeks after the hold-up, in which he took $771. He got it from Chula Vista Superior Court Judge Garry Haehnle who denied probation.

Deputy District Attorney Terri Wyatt said last week that Blethen was on parole at the time of the bank robbery and he had six prior felony convictions. Those prior offenses included commercial burglary, auto theft, petty theft and three counts of possessing illegal drugs.

Blethen walked into the bank with a device that he implied was a bomb. He demanded $10,000 and left the device behind, which turned out to be a harmless old radio. He left with $771.

Blethen will have to serve 85 percent of the three-year sentence, said Wyatt. A state parole agent recognized him from the bank’s camera footage and Chula Vista Police arrested him on June 12. Haehnle ordered Blethen to pay the money back to the bank.

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