Trice sentences Central Coast Bandit

April 3, 2015

Cristina Fernandez Padilla

San Luis Obispo Superior Court Judge John Trice doled out a 16-year prison sentence on Thursday to Cristina Fernandez Padilla, a Watsonville woman better known as the Central Coast Bandit.

Padilla robbed six banks in three counties over an eight-month span that began on New Year’s Eve in 2012. She is expected to receive a total of 20 years in prison after she likely receives a pair of two-year sentences in Monterey and Stanislaus counties.

The 50-year-old woman said following her capture that she robbed banks in order to buy food and clothing for her 11-year-old daughter. Despite confessing to doing so in a jailhouse interview, Padilla pleaded not guilty to numerous charges.

But, in January, the district attorney’s office announced that it had reached a plea agreement. Padilla copped to four counts of robbery and one count each of attempted robbery, second-degree commercial burglary, evading a peace officer and assault with a deadly weapon.

The assault with a deadly weapon charge stemmed from a police chase on August 23, 2013. After an employee of a San Luis Obispo Golden 1 Credit Union recognized Padilla, the bank robber led officers on a chase from San Luis Obispo to Paso Robles, where she ultimately crashed her car.

When Padilla goes to prison, good behavior will not relieve her of much of her sentence. Since she has been convicted of violent strikes, her conduct credits will be limited to 15 percent, according to a district attorney’s office news release.



  1. topper01 says:

    16 years? 20 plus years?
    I guess it pays to be former law enforcement like Bruce Valentine. Valentine, a former Deputy Sheriff from Santa Barbara County only gets 5 years for his Geezer Bandit bank robberies.

    (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
  2. dogeatdog says:

    Good behavior after committing a crime to cut down on time served, got to love it.

    How about good behavior to keep your @$$ out of jail.

    (12) 12 Total Votes - 12 up - 0 down
    • SLO_Johnny says:

      It helps the guards if inmates have a good reason to be on their best behavior. Suspended sentences are another tool. Ask the guards about how difficult it can be to control prisoners serving life without parole.

      (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
  3. Zuma7 says:

    Excellent, glad they got this garbage off the streets.

    (6) 8 Total Votes - 7 up - 1 down
  4. BeenThereDoneThat says:

    She says it was for food and clothing. She also says in a Trib article, it was so she could get out of a bad neighborhood. She also has a conviction for B&E (now think of Morgan Freeman saying………that’s Breaking and Entering to you and me) back in ’05, and she has a $1,300 a month from her deceased husbands S.S., I don’t know what to believe from this woman.

    The only one (besides victims) I have empathy here for, is her daughter. She will come of age and into young adult hood visiting mom in prison. Now we move onto another soon to be damaged human being. Sad.

    (14) 16 Total Votes - 15 up - 1 down
  5. achillesheal says:

    Doesn’t the 11 year old’s father provide for the girl? Could the mother maybe get a job to put food on the table?

    Ha, ha I’m obviously kidding by making such ridiculous statements in these days of disappearing self sufficiency and responsibility.

    How much do you want to bet the 11 year old, in addition to having food, had an iPhone.

    (7) 15 Total Votes - 11 up - 4 down

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