Dragon Jones has been sentenced to 14 years in prison. A serial robber in the San Diego county area, Jones plead guilty to 20 counts of armed robbery and was sentenced on Monday. Small shopkeepers can breathe easy for now, despite the San Diego’s growing rate of armed robberies.
Dubbed “the Backroom Bandit“, he was given that name mainly due to his modus operandi, where after each robbery, he would force a female clerk to the back of the store and tell her not to call the police. If she would call the police, he’d be back, he threatened.
From September 25 through October 29, Dragon Jones apparently robbed 20 small shops, including yogurt shops, ice cream shops, beauty supply stores and Hallmark shops. His geographic range extended all over the greater San Diego area, including Chula Vista, El Cajon and San Diego proper.
According to the Deputy District Attorney Amy Maund, Jones would enter shops where there would be a female clerk working. There, he would order her to open the cash register, showing her a supposedly real gun.
But no, it was just a mere pellet gun.
His price was low, too. In each of his robberies, he usually netted under $200.
And all it took was a fingerprint to lead authorities to Jones. Authorities arrested him on Halloween, as he attempted to cross into the United States while coming back from Tijuana, where he owned a restaurant. It was that very restaurant in Tijuana that led to his need to rob, said Jones’ San Diego criminal defense attorney. When the restaurant began to fail, Jones had no choice but to steal to support his wife and two children.
Jones’ lawyer argued for a lighter sentence of 8 years, claiming that Jones had no prior record and is remorseful.
Unfortunately for Jones, this argument was unsuccessful. In addition to his jail sentence, Jones was ordered by the court to pay $4,291 back to the victims of his robberies.