Man accused of local bank robberies was neuroscientist with Ph.D.

SAN DIEGO -- A man accused of robbing a number of credit unions in San Diego County is a neuroscientist with a Ph.D.

Karl Doron, 43, was arrested Tuesday after he entered a Navy Federal Credit Union on Mira Mesa Boulevard and allegedly demanded cash from employees, according to FBI Special Agent Davene Butler.

He pleaded not guilty to charges from that incident and a series of other alleged bank robberies on Friday.

Doron's attorney says he is trained as a neuroscientist and holds a Ph.D. According to his LinkedIn profile, he studied Philosophy and Psychological and Brain Sciences at UC Santa Barbara, and was a researcher at UC San Diego for about a year starting in 2014.

Doron pleaded not guilty Friday to seven counts of bank robbery, two counts of attempted bank robbery and one count of carrying a loaded firearm in a public place.

He is accused of stealing more than $13,000. More than $8,500 of the stolen money is still unaccounted for, a deputy district attorney said.

Residents in Doron's neighborhood told FOX 5 they were shocked to hear the news.

“You don’t expect to find out that they’re doing something like a bank heist," one neighbor told FOX 5. "There’s not really any way to rationalize how or why someone would do that, but particularly someone who’s coming from a field based in education. I would not expect that to happen.”

Doron could face 14 years and four months in prison, if convicted, authorities said.

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