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05 Feb 12 PetSmart Shooting Suspect Delays Entering Plea

A man dubbed the “Chrome Revolver Bandit” due to the large silver-barreled revolver he allegedly used to commit robberies throughout the Bay Area, including at a PetSmart in San Mateo, delayed entering a plea in San Mateo County Superior Court on Wednesday afternoon.

Ricky Sanders, 34, is a third striker and parolee who was arrested in November for the Oct. 8 robbery and shooting at the PetSmart at at 3520 S. El Camino Real, according to authorities.

He was arraigned Wednesday, and was appointed to the private defender’s office. His case was continued to Feb. 7, when he is expected to enter a plea.

In the October shooting, Sanders allegedly demanded cash and then fired several shots at the clerk and fled from the store, police said.

The clerk, a 34-year-old San Mateo man, suffered a gunshot wound to the leg, severing the femoral artery. He was transported to a nearby hospital for treatment.

There were about 15 customers in the store at the time of the robbery, and police interviewed witnesses at the scene. Part of South El Camino Real was closed for about an hour during the investigation.

San Mateo police collaborated with other local law enforcement agencies and learned the robbery matched characteristics of what authorities dubbed the “Chrome Revolver Bandit” series.

Five Bay Area counties speculated that more than 30 robberies in more than a dozen jurisdictions involved a similar method of operation and suspect description, San Mateo Police Sgt. Dave Norris said.

Sanders is also charged with robberies or attempted robberies at a Beverages More and Game Stop in Colma, according to prosecutors.

He faces 16 counts of robbery with a firearm; nine counts of felon with a firearm; six counts of assault with a firearm; five counts of attempted robbery; and one count of mayhem.

Sanders remains custody without bail.

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