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Venice Bank Robber To Be Sentenced

A 32-year-old man pleaded guilty earlier this month to robberies across Los Angeles County, including at banks in Marina del Rey, Venice and Santa Monica.

A federal judge on Nov. 19 will sentence a robber nicknamed the “Explosive Threat Bandit” who is responsible for a string of robberies in Southern California, including a Chase Bank in Venice.

William Joseph Allen, 32, admitted to robbing six banks as part of a plea deal with the prosecution reached on Oct. 23. Because he admitted to the robberies, he won’t be prosecuted for the robberies of three other banks.

He robbed the Comerica Bank in Marina del Rey on March 23, and detectives used forensic evidence from a March 29 heist in Santa Monica to identify him. The FBI coined the term “Explosive Threat Bandit” because Allen allegedly dropped off packages containing electronic components and wiring and told bank tellers that an accomplice outside the bank would detonate the package.

However, the bombs were fake. 

On other occasions he would brandish a gun and demand money, passing notes to the teller such as “the establishment will not exist” if the worker did not comply.

The string of eight robberies and attempted bank robberies occurred from Nov. 15, 2011, starting at a Bank of America in West Covina until his last on March 29 of this year at a Wells Fargo in Santa Monica. 

Authorities arrested him on April 17 in downtown Los Angeles.  

Sentencing will be held Nov. 19 for the six banks he pleaded guilty to robbing – a Bank of America in West Covina and Los Angeles, a Chase Bank in Los Angeles, an attempted heist at a Bank of America branch in Los Angeles, a robbery of a Chase Bank in Venice and the March 23 robbery of a Comerica Bank in Marina Del Rey.

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