‘Big Man Bandit’ pleads guilty to Bay Area bank robberies

‘Big Man Bandit’ pleads guilty to Bay Area bank robberies


SAN FRANCISCO — A Bay Area bank robber dubbed the “Big Man Bandit” is headed to the big house.

Surveillance image of a man dubbed the “Big Man Bandit” sought by the FBI in a string of March bank robberies in San Jose and San Mateo. (FBI) 

On Thursday, 51-year-old Gregory A. Vaughan, of Daly City, pleaded guilty to five counts of bank robbery in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. He faces a maximum statutory sentence of 20 years in prison for each count.

The heists took place between March 15 and April 6 in San Mateo, San Jose and Campbell.

Prosecutors said Vaughan took $3,080 from Bank of America at 971 Blossom Hill Road in San Jose on March 15, $3,400 from Wells Fargo Bank at 12 17th Ave. in San Mateo on March 17, $700 from California Bank & Trust at 1690 South El Camino Real on March 23, $2,232 from U.S. Bank at 136 2nd Ave. in San Mateo on April 4 and $1,047 from U.S. Bank at 1480 West Campbell Ave. in Campbell on April 6.

Vaughan earned the “Big Man Bandit” moniker based on his description as a 6-foot-tall, 300-pound man.

Vaughan was arrested April 7 after a San Mateo officer patrolling the parking lot of the Jockey Club at 2495 South Delaware St. spotted a gold Cadillac that matched the description of a getaway vehicle used in the heists.

A federal grand jury indicted Vaughan on April 19.

U.S. District Court Judge William H. Orrick has scheduled Vaughan’s sentencing for Dec. 6.

Vaughan was released on May 9 on a $50,000 unsecured bond, according to court records. As a condition of his release, he was ordered to reside in a halfway house and was permitted to leave only for attorney visits, court, medical appointments, and treatment.

The conditions were later modified to allow Vaughan to work and to attend his daughter’s birthday party and to walk her to school on Aug. 13, according to court records.



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