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Crime

'Bad Hatter Bandit' strikes area banks

SACRAMENTO, CA - A bank robber who uses different stolen getaway cars in each crime has struck three times in recent weeks, according to investigators.

Still, the Sacramento Violent Crimes Task Force and FBI have learned the perpetrator always wear a black hat of some variety and carries a leather folio.

The man has twice robbed a Chase Bank at 3501 Del Paso Boulevard (Nov. 29, 2012 and Jan. 29, 2013) and a Chase Bank at 1800 Douglas Boulevard, Roseville (Jan. 10), says the task force. He was described as black, 5 feet 7 to 9 inches tall with a small build.

His modus operandi is to approach a teller and demand cash. He indicates he is armed.

In the Jan. 29 robbery, there was a second man with the first man. The second man was described as black, 5 feet 9 to 11 inches tall with an average build. He also spoke to the teller, saying he had a weapon.

No one was hurt in the crimes.

Man pleads to bludgeoning roommate

SACRAMENTO, CA - A Sacramento man has admitted to killing his roommate during a dispute nearly two and a half years ago.

Anthony Bettanini first claimed he found William Goldsbury already dead when he came home to the Norwood apartment they shared on Aug. 23, 2010. Goldsbury had been stabbed and bludgeoned to death, according to investigators.

Police reported finding two knives partially flushed down the apartment toilet, according to the Sacramento County District Attorney's Office.

Bettanini first told detectives there was blood was him because he had touched Goldsbury to determine if he was dead. He made strange statements during police interviews to give the impression he had a mental disorder but eventually, admitted he went after Goldsbury when their argument escalated, the prosecution said.

Bettanini pled guilty to second-degree murder. He will be sentenced Feb. 22. He faces a prison term of 15 years to life.

Man fatally shot during argument in north Sacramento

SACRAMENTO - An argument escalated into violence and an eventual fatal shooting in the Del Paso Heights area of Sacramento Sunday afternoon.

According to Sacramento police reports, a resident and a passerby got into an argument around 3:51 p.m. The passerby then followed the resident toward their house on the 3100 block of Palmer St. where the argument became violent and the home owner pulled a gun and shot the passerby.

Emergency responders were called and transported the gunshot victim to a nearby hospital where he later died, said police.

No identifying information was provided on either party.

Police did not indicate what the two men were arguing about.

Bookkeeper facing embezzlement allegations sought

LODI, CA - Authorities are looking for a woman accused of stealing nearly $160,000 from a Lodi business.

A $200,000 bail warrant has been issued for Sierra Daniella Julia Garcia on allegations of grand theft, falsifying business records and identity theft, according to the San Joaquin County District Attorney's Office.

Garcia is also known as Sierra Danielle Julia Anderson and Sierra Danielle Julia Gregory.

According to district attorney investigators, Garcia is accused of using a business credit card to charge personal items and using company funds to pay credit card charges of relatives and friends.

Investigators say Garcia could be in the Sacramento area.

Anyone with information on the suspect was urged to contact the Lodi Police Department at (209) 333-6727 and ask for Det. Mike Manetti.

Medical pot dispensaries' owner pleads to federal charges

SACRAMENTO, CA - A Stockton man accused of selling marijuana at storefronts in Stockton and Sacramento under the guise of supplying marijuana for medical purposes has reached a plea agreement with federal prosecutors on manufacturing and distribution charges.

Lynn Farrell Smith, 62, was a co-owner of Pathways Health Cooperative, and Port City Health and Wellness in Stockton; Central Valley Caregivers Cooperative just outside Stockton city limits; and MediZen, Sacramento Patients Group, Twelve Hour Care, River City Wellness all in Sacramento, per court records.

Smith also grew marijuana at a Stockton residence and an industrial warehouse to supply the stores, according to the plea agreement.

The U.S. Attorney's Office says Smith and co-defendants made millions in revenue from the operations which falsely claimed compliance with California medical marijuana laws.

Sacramento police pursuit ends in fatal crash

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A pursuit of a suspected car thief came to a violent conclusion when the fleeing driver went through a stop sign and was struck by another car around 12:37 p.m. Monday.

According to the Sacramento Police Department public information officer, the brief pursuit of the stolen Honda began at Las Palmas Avenue and Beldin Street and ended shortly after at the intersection of El Camino Avenue and Clay Street where the cars collided.

A police officer at the scene said the driver of the fleeing vehicle was killed in the collision. The police department said the driver was 21 years old.

Of the two people in the car that struck the Honda, one had minor injuries. Both adults were checked out by emergency medical responders, police said. 

Man sentenced in Rio Linda ax killing

SACRAMENTO, CA - A Rio Linda man was sentenced 16 years to life for chasing down a man he thought was a burglar and slaying him with an ax.

Steven Zinda was convicted of second-degree murder last month in the March 20, 2011 killing of 20-year-old David Valdez.

STORY: Detectives: Mistaken ID led to Elverta man's murder

Sheriff's detectives learned Valdez was in the area because his SUV was stuck in a ditch across from Zinda's house. When Zinda got home, he found his house burglarized and assumed Valdez was responsible, according to investigators.

Zinda was sentenced in Sacramento Superior Court on Friday.