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Friday, January 21, 2000

Man admits robbing banks;
faces up to 80 years

By Debra Barayuga


A 31-year-old man has pleaded guilty to robbing four banks in one day.

William Sarcedo Jr. faces a total sentence of up to 80 years in federal prison when sentenced before U.S. District Judge Helen Gillmor on April 17.

He was charged in a criminal complaint Wednesday with four counts of bank robbery -- including the robbery at American Savings Bank in Kalihi on Sept. 9.

Under a plea agreement reached with the government, the United States will not file charges against Sarcedo in four other bank robberies, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Ron Johnson.

But Sarcedo will be required to make restitution to all eight banks, Johnson said.

Sarcedo, when arrested Sept. 9, admitted to robbing six banks that day and two others on Sept. 1 and Aug. 16.

Yesterday, Sarcedo admitted to entering the Kaimuki branch of Bank of Hawaii, the International Savings & Loan and Bank of Hawaii in Kapahulu and the American Savings Bank on North School Street on Sept. 9 and each time handing a teller a note.

Sarcedo told the court he has a stuttering problem so it was easier to pass a note saying, "No alarms, I have a gun, give me money."

Johnson said the government was prepared to present evidence at trial that Sarcedo entered each of the four banks and left with cash amounts of $2,075, $1,032, $1,228 and $641.

Sarcedo will be required under the agreement to also pay $557 to Hawaii National Bank, $100 to the American Savings Bank in McCully, $2,349 to the Hawaii National Bank on Dillingham Boulevard and $451 to City Bank in McCully.

Family members have said Sarcedo was not in the right state of mind when he reportedly robbed the banks. They said stress, his addiction to crystal methamphetamine and failure to provide for his family made him do it.

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