Photo via Pixabay
Photo via Pixabay

A man accused of being the “Bad Grandpa” bandit, who’s believed  responsible for as many as 11 bank robberies in Southern California, including four in San Diego County, was found Thursday to be mentally competent to stand trial.

Criminal proceedings were reinstated for James Francisco Saputo, who faces more than 120 years to life in prison if convicted.

Saputo, 51, was arrested twice a year ago on drug charges and was out of custody on bail when he allegedly committed the bank robberies between Feb. 12 and March 30 last year.

Prosecutors said Saputo’s criminal record dates back to 1986. He has 14 prior convictions, including bank robberies in Del Mar and San Marcos.

Saputo was nicknamed the “Bad Grandpa” bandit because of the elderly disguise he wore, which included a wig, glasses and a cane, according to authorities.

He is charged in San Diego with four robberies, vehicle theft, receiving stolen property, possession of controlled substances and resisting arrest, said Deputy District Attorney Lucy Yturralde.

Saputo — held on $750,000 bail — will be back in court Feb. 22.

—City News Service

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