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'South Side Bandit' pleads guilty to five bank robberies in Newton and Wellesley

Posted by boston.com  October 9, 2013 01:52 PM

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Wilfredo Alarcon, dubbed the "South Side Bandit," pleaded guilty to commiting five bank robberies in Newton and Wellesley in 2010, and was sentenced to 18 to 20 years in state prison, the attorney general's office announced today.

“This defendant robbed five different banks and employed fear and threats of violence to do so, while carrying what appeared to be a semi-automatic weapon,” Attorney General Martha Coakley said in a press release. “He will now serve a considerable amount of time in state prison for these crimes.”

Alarcon, 45, of Newton, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Middlesex Superior Court to charges of Masked Armed Robbery (five counts), Assault with a Dangerous Weapon (five counts), Stealing by Placing in Fear (five counts), and Attempted Masked Armed Robbery.

Superior Court Judge Kathe M. Tuttman sentenced Alarcon to 18 to 20 years in state prison with five years of probation to serve upon his release, Coakley's office said.

Alarcon robbed five banks in Newton and Wellesley between January and May of 2010, stealing about $51,000 in total, according to prosecutors.

Investigation revealed that Alarcon’s typical strategy in these robberies was to enter the banks with a black mask over his face, a hoodie or baseball cap, latex gloves, and an apparent semi-automatic weapon, which was ultimately revealed to be an air pistol. He would then demand large bills from the bank workers, at times ordering others on the ground, and use threats of violence until he was given the money.

He was arrested on May 20, 2010, when attempting to rob a Sovereign Bank in Methuen.

Shandana Mufti can be reached at shandana.mufti@globe.com.

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