Man pleads guilty to robbing 5 stores in 12 days

SAN DIEGO – A 67-year-old man who robbed or attempted to rob five convenience stores in a 12-day span last year in several San Diego neighborhoods pleaded guilty Tuesday to felony charges.

Ronald Gregory Perez, who was known to police as the “Bolt Bandit” because of a Chargers beanie he wore during his heists, faces 36 years in prison when he is sentenced April 19 on the robbery and attempted robbery counts.

San Diego police Lt. Eric Hays said Perez was in possession of evidence linking him to all five robberies when he was arrested Nov. 25.

His crime spree began Nov. 14 when he robbed a Subway restaurant in Kearny Mesa at gunpoint. Six days later, he made an unsuccessful attempt to hold up a 7-Eleven in Hillcrest.

On Nov. 22, he held up an am/pm convenience store at an Arco gas station at 1550 Moreno Blvd. in Bay Park at gunpoint. After that heist, which happened about 6 a.m., police revealed for the first time that the suspect wore a Chargers beanie.

The suspect’s downfall came three days later, when he returned to that am/pm store just hours after holding up another am/pm market in the 6100 block of Balboa Avenue in Clairemont Mesa, police said.

In the first of those Nov. 25 crimes, the armed defendant fled the Clairemont Mesa convenience store with cash from the register just before 5 a.m. About three hours later, Perez entered the am/pm in Bay Park — the same convenience store that was held up three days prior — pulled a gun and demanded money, but panicked and fled the store empty-handed when a customer walked in and spooked him.