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Tue, June 18

Arizona man sentenced to prison for 'bearded bandit' armed robberies

Francisco Nieblas Rodriguez — known as the "bearded bandit" — was sentenced to 33 years in prison for convictions on a total of 25 counts of armed robbery, attempted armed robbery, kidnapping and aggravated assault. (Phoenix Police Department)

Francisco Nieblas Rodriguez — known as the "bearded bandit" — was sentenced to 33 years in prison for convictions on a total of 25 counts of armed robbery, attempted armed robbery, kidnapping and aggravated assault. (Phoenix Police Department)

PHOENIX — A 30-year-old man has been sentenced to 33 years in prison for a 2016 string of armed robberies in metro Phoenix attributed to the "bearded bandit."

A Maricopa County Superior Court judge sentenced Francisco Nieblas Rodriguez on Friday for October convictions on a total of 25 counts of armed robbery, attempted armed robbery, kidnapping and aggravated assault.

The county attorney's office says the robber pointed a gun at employees of six check-cashing businesses in Phoenix and Glendale and demanded money before leaving before police arrived.

Investigators identified a vehicle likely connected to the suspect and tracked it to a Peoria home where they found Rodriguez leaving the residence and a cap and gun like ones used in the holdups.

Additionally, several victims were able to identify Rodriguez as the robber.

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