Prosecutors offer plea deal to alleged serial bank robber

An alleged serial bank robber accused of terrorizing customers and putting a gun to a teller’s head was offered a plea deal by San Mateo County prosecutors.

Deputy District Attorney James Wade confirmed that an offer was made to 26-year-old Erkan Gohran on Monday but declined to disclose its details.

Gohran is charged with six counts of felony bank robbery stemming from two holdups at Citibank branches in Foster City and San Carlos last year. He faces 10 years on the San Mateo County charges and is also facing prison time from two other alleged robberies in Santa Clara County, Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

Prosecutors believe the robbery spree began Nov. 21, when Gohran, a San Mateo resident and chef at an Italian restaurant in Millbrae, allegedly walked into the Foster City bank and demanded that all customers lie on the floor. When the victims assumed he was joking, Wagstaffe said, a masked Gohran held a gun to a teller’s head before making off with $15,369.

On Dec. 30, the masked and armed robber struck again in San Carlos, ordering a manager to the floor before stealing $22,201. Gohran was arrested days later during a Citibank robbery in Santa Clara. He admitted to the San Mateo robberies but told police he used a toy gun, Wagstaffe said.

Wagstaffe called Gohran’s conduct “extremely dangerous.”

“This is not flipping a note to the teller and quietly walking out. Takeover robberies are a power and control thing. You’re not just trying to get the money, you’re taking pleasure in instilling fear in dozens of people,” he said.

Gohran is expected to return to San Mateo Superior Court on Thursday, where he will either take the deal or the case will be scheduled for trial.

tbarak@examiner.com

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