“Long Jaw Bandit” who held up adult bookstores gets 20 years
Published Thursday, 26-Aug-2010 in issue 1183
‘The “Long Jaw Bandit” who held up adult bookstores and a variety of other businesses was sentenced August 20 to 20 years in state prison and ordered to pay $16,133 in restitution to the stores.
Roger Bruce Jones, 45, of Tijuana, told San Diego Superior Court Judge Eugenia Eyherabide he was not armed during any of the 35 robberies that were committed between Aug. 11, 2009, and Dec. 20, 2009.
Jones admitted he held up three F Street Bookstores in Chula Vista, San Ysidro, and on Miramar Road. He also pleaded guilty to holding up two Adult Emporium stores in San Diego, as well as Romantix on El Cajon Boulevard, and Fantasy Adult Books in Spring Valley.
Deputy District Attorney Allison Worden said many of the young cashiers in the businesses were traumatized and they did not know whether he was armed or not. She recommended a 39-year sentence, while the probation department recommended 15 years.
“He was caught on videotape. He had no concern for anyone but himself,” said Worden.
Jones’ attorney, Jeff Carver, urged a six year term, saying he committed the crimes because he became “disabled and out of work.” Carver said “a garage door fell on him” before the crime spree and he committed the hold-ups due to desperation, disability, and a drug addiction.
“He was a slave to methamphetamine. It set him spinning out of control,” said Carver, who added he believed Jones was “salvageable.”
“My actions are inexcusable. I did not mean to put anyone’s life at risk,” said Jones. “I will never ever harm another human being.
“I want to apologize to everyone in San Diego. My behavior tied up law enforcement. I’m ashamed. I’m embarrassed,” said Jones. “I can’t over emphasize the remorse I feel. I do have a good heart.”
The judge ordered consecutive terms for 16 robberies, but ruled the sentence for 19 other hold-ups run concurrently. She imposed a fine of $11,426 and ruled out probation, citing public safety.
Eyherabide imposed 20 years for the robberies and added eight months consecutively for Jones violating probation terms on an earlier auto theft case involving a rental car. He received credits of 281 days in jail.
Law enforcement dubbed the “Long Jaw Bandit” series because of a “pronounced jaw” that victims described to police, said Worden. His fingerprints were found in one robbery, and a warrant was issued for his arrest. He was arrested Dec. 26 while entering the U.S. at San Ysidro Port of Entry.
Jones pleaded guilty March 8 to all 35 robbery charges. Other businesses held up included grocery stores, CVS Pharmacy, Petco, 7-Eleven, office supply stores, one bank, shoe stores, a gas station, and Walgreens.
If Jones gets a prison job, a portion of the meager wages he would earn would be deducted to pay back the victims and then the fines he received.