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Bank robber, 75, sentenced in San Diego

May 8, 2012 |  5:54 pm

Bird Leg BanditA 75-year-old man was sentenced in San Diego federal court Tuesday to four years, three months in prison after admitting to four bank robberies. But officials were quick to point out that he is not considered the celebrated/infamous Geezer Bandit.

Albert Joseph Wallake pleaded guilty to robbing a Bank of America branch twice in 2007 and a U.S. Bank branch twice in 2011. Along with the prison sentence, District Judge Robert T. Benitez ordered Wallake to pay restitution of $2,105 to the Bank of America and $10,400 to U.S. Bank.

Before Wallake was arrested, the FBI gave the bank robber the nickname of the Bird Leg Bandit because of his lean, rather bow-legged appearance.

The Geezer Bandit is still at large after 16 bank robberies from August 2009 to last December. He has robbed 11 banks in San Diego County and banks in Temecula, Bakersfield, Goleta, Morro Bay and San Luis Obispo.

Whether the Geezer Bandit is truly a man between 60 and 70 years old or a younger man wearing a theatrical mask is open to debate.

--Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: Bird Leg Bandit seen on surveillance camera robbing a U.S. Bank branch in November 2011, a crime for which Albert Joseph Wallake has been convicted. Credit: FBI