Crime

Ex-sheriff's deputy arraigned in Cambria bank robbery

Bruce Franklin Valentine, 70, of Heritage Ranch was arrested Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013, on suspicion of armed robbery. Original story »
Bruce Franklin Valentine, 70, of Heritage Ranch was arrested Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013, on suspicion of armed robbery. Original story »

A former Santa Barbara County sheriff’s deputy charged with bank robbery will remain in jail at least two more weeks unless he can raise $250,000 bail.

Bruce Franklin Valentine, 70, briefly appeared in San Luis Obispo Superior Court for an arraignment Tuesday. Valentine, who was a deputy sheriff in the 1970s, is charged with robbing the Rabobank in Cambria on Nov. 7. Witnesses said a man wearing a mask and a hood waved a gun and demanded money on that day. The suspect drove away in what was described as a Hyundai two-door coupe.

Valentine, who lives with his wife, daughter and grandchildren in Heritage Ranch, was arrested nearly two weeks later. The Sheriff’s Office did not say how they connected him to the case.

As Valentine sat in the jury box, eight of his family members sat in the audience. They declined to comment on the case at this time, although one family member said they do not believe Valentine committed the crime. Attorney Ken Cirisan said he had just received a thick file of reports in the case.

Judge Michael Duffy set the next hearing for Dec. 10. Before that date, the county probation department will recommend whether Valentine’s $250,000 bail should be reduced or if he can be released on his own recognizance.

The bank robbery was the first to occur in Cambria in 12 years.

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