Julio Cesar Rodriguez says he stole from the rich, gave to the poor and got caught because he didn’t cover his face when he tried to knock over the San Fernando Citibank.
Prosecutors charged the 32-year-old Arleta man with 14 counts of robbery and attempted robbery Tuesday in a string of bank jobs dating back to 2004. Though his arraignment was delayed until later this month, police said he has admitted his guilt and cooperated with the investigation.
The Los Angeles Police Department alleges Rodriguez snatched close to half a million bucks out of bank vaults throughout the northeast San Fernando Valley. When Detective Ursula Guillory of the Robbery-Homicide Division asked what he did with the proceeds, Rodriguez offered a shocking answer.
“He said, ‘I spent a little on myself, then I went down to Skid Row and handed it out,’” Guillory said. “He went on to tell us about all the rest of the robberies.”
She’d been tracking him for months, based on DNA evidence obtained from the scarf he used to cover his face in an earlier robbery in Van Nuys. He’d scribbled lines from the Book of Mormon inside alluding to 1st Nephi 3:7. Guillory asked him about the passage, and he said he belonged to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“Now I’ve got a bank-robbing, Mormon Robin Hood,” she said. “He was very cooperative and said he wanted to be responsible. He said, ‘I don’t want to waste your time, detective.’”
Now I’m not an expert in all the tenets of the Mormon faith, but I’m guessing that “don’t rob banks” fits somewhere in between “don’t drink coffee”, “don’t smoke cigarettes” and “spread the word of the Joseph Smith and/or the Lord.”