Orange County District Attorney Press Release
For Immediate Release, Case # 12HF1290: November 7, 2013
SANTA ANA – A man dubbed the “Snowboarder Bandit” was convicted today of committing robberies in 10 Orange County banks. Michael Brandon Franks, 30, Riverside, pleaded guilty to a court offer today to 10 felony counts of second degree robbery and two felony counts of attempted second degree robbery. He faces a maximum sentence of 10 years and six months in state prison at his sentencing, Jan. 17, 2014, at 8:30 a.m. in Department C-34, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
Between Dec. 20, 2011, and March 21, 2012, Franks committed 10 robberies at nine different banks in Orange County. The bank chains included Bank of America in Anaheim, Chase Bank in Laguna Hills and Laguna Niguel, Citibank in Irvine, two robberies at the Schools First Federal Credit Union branch in Anaheim, Union Bank in Newport Beach, US Bank in Irvine and Ladera Ranch, and Wells Fargo in Irvine.
Franks attempted to rob a bank teller at the Citibank branch in Irvine and the US Bank branch in Irvine where he committed robberies before.
In each of the cases, Franks carried out similar acts: entered the bank wearing distinctive headgear which included a motorcycle helmet or beanie and sunglasses, approached a bank teller, and slipped the teller a note which stated he had a gun and demanded money. He caused the tellers to give him the money out of fear. Franks took the money and walked out of the bank.
The case was investigated by multiple agencies including Anaheim Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Irvine Police Department (IPD), Newport Beach Police Department, Orange County Sheriff’s Department, and Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.
On May 4, 2012, IPD arrested Franks at his home in Riverside. At the time of his arrest, Franks had money fanned out in the passenger side of his vehicle, a ripped up demand note, and several used Band-Aids he used to cover his fingertips.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Lynda Fernandez of the Felony Panel is prosecuting this case.
Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney 401 Civic Center Drive West Santa Ana, CA 92701