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Alleged ‘Central Coast Bandit’ Appears in Court

The woman accused as the “Central Coast Bandit” made her first court appearance Wednesday in San Luis Obispo Superior Court for her arraignment.

Cristina Fernandez Padilla pleaded not guilty to 13 counts.

Prosecutors say at this time, they are only pursuing the charges that apply within San Luis Obispo County. The FBI is still determining which federal charges to bring against Padilla.

Police arrested the 50-year-old woman last Friday after six heists, one attempted hold-up and a police chase. Five of those were in San Luis Obispo County. Her alleged crimes were also committed in Monterey and Stanislaus Counties.

The Watsonville resident faces a slew of counts including robbery, attempted robbery and second-degree commercial burglary.

Padilla already has two burglary convictions on her record from Monterey County back in 2005.

The defendant’s next court appearance is scheduled for September 4th for her preliminary hearing.

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