A National City man pleaded guilty Feb. 15 to committing 10 robberies in the Be Cool Bandit series in which he urged victims to chill out.
Elvin Vincent Foster Jr., 45, faces up to 28 years in state prison, said Deputy District Attorney Jim Koerber. Sentencing was set for April 5 in San Diego Superior Court.
National City Police detective Wade Walters testified Oct. 23, 2012, about the confession made by Foster in the series which hit four businesses in National City and six elsewhere following his arrest July 23, 2012.
Walters said Foster “chuckled” when asked about the phrase “be cool,” and said he “always used that term” in conversations. The nickname stuck and was used in the investigation.
The approximate loss to all businesses was $1,480, said Koerber. Judge Leo Valentine limited the prison term to 28 years and probation has been ruled out.
Foster also pleaded guilty to stealing a woman’s purse at the Barona Casino in a separate case.
The series began May 3, 2012, at a North Park service station and ended July 23 with his arrest by National City police. The break came when Foster’s fingerprint was lifted from one of the robberies. His prints were on file due to a conviction for robbery and attempted robbery, according to court records.
A search warrant was served at his residence in the 1500 block of Euclid Avenue in National City and items were seized as evidence.
Robbery victims testified they believed the gun they saw was real, although police recovered a plain black BB gun.
He remains in jail on $750,000 bail.