Armed robber pleads guilty; faces up to 16 years
The 57-year-old Chico man accused of robbing the Bank of America and the Subway restaurant in Corning at gunpoint pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree burglary.
Gary Dean Belcher, who also attempted to rob the Chevron Station at Rolling Hills Casino, entered the pleas as part of a deal with the Tehama County District Attorney's Office.
The burglary counts have the special allegation of personal use of a firearm while committing a robbery attached as well.
Sentencing is scheduled for March 18 in Tehama County Superior Court, where he could be facing 16 years, according to the Tehama County District Attorney's Office.
Belcher was facing two felony counts of second-degree robbery and one felony count of attempted second-degree robbery, each with a special allegation of using a firearm while committing a robbery. Belcher reportedly told Corning police investigators while being transported from Butte County Jail to Tehama County Jail that he robbed the Bank of America on Sept. 10.
Corning police Chief Don Atkins said Belcher, who was arrested by Chico police on Sept. 13, also confessed to robbing the Subway shop in Corning on July 25, and to robbing the Chevron station at Rolling Hills Casino on Aug. 23.
Additionally, Belcher is said to have confessed to robbing the US Bank in Colusa on Aug. 31.
Belcher was arrested with Emily Clark, 36, of Willows. She is being charged in Butte County with armed robbery of a Dollar Store on Sept. 4.
Clark is scheduled for trial in Butte County Superior Court on Monday.
The couple were suspected of being the same people who entered a Chico bank wearing disguises on the day of their arrest.
A bank employee familiar with the Colusa robbery told the bank manager and when he confronted the couple, they fled, police said.
Belcher and Clark were spotted by a Chico police officer in a tan Chevrolet Tahoe, still wearing disguises that matched those of the couple in the bank, and stopped at in Walgreen's sparking lot at East and Cohasset streets.
A similar vehicle was used during the Corning bank robbery, police said.
Belcher was arrested with a loaded handgun in his possession, and was later identified by detectives as the suspect in the Corning bank robbery, Chico police reported.
Belcher walked into the Corning bank around 2:15 p.m. on Sept. 10, approached a teller, displayed a handgun and ordered her to put money into a white plastic bag, police said.
That scenario was very similar to the Colusa robbery, in which a man approached a teller, displayed a semi-automatic handgun, then demanded money be put into a bag he provided.
In each case, the robber escaped with an undisclosed amount of money.
The robber at the Subway shop also had a gun and escaped with what was reported to be a little more than $200, Corning police said.