SAN DIEGO -
One of two men accused in the so-called "Dare Me Bandit" robberies of businesses throughout the San Diego area over the summer pleaded not guilty Thursday to 15 robbery charges.
Alex Sanchez, 23, was ordered held on $500,000 bail. He was arrested on Wednesday.
A second suspect, 24-year-old Luis Cruz Magana, was arrested Sept. 24 by La Mesa police on suspicion of robbing a liquor store. La Mesa police shared information about the case with San Diego investigators, who determined the man was allegedly connected to the "Dare Me Bandit" series, according to San Diego police Lt. Andra Brown.
Cruz is scheduled to be arraigned Friday.
The robberies, all carried out at gunpoint, occurred at a dozen businesses in San Diego and at least five others in San Diego County between July 22 and Sept. 24, according to Brown. The targeted businesses were generally convenience stores and fast-food restaurants.
The "Dare Me Bandit" moniker stemmed from the bold way the robber walked into businesses with a firearm already out, making his intentions clear. In at least one case, he fired into a wall just to prove the firearm was real, police said.
Sanchez is scheduled to return to court Oct. 11 for a status conference and Oct. 18 for a preliminary hearing.