‘Big Boy Bandit’ to stand trial

A man with three bank robbery convictions dating back more than 25 years was ordered Friday, March 27, to stand trial on nine bank robbery counts in connection with the so-called “Big Boy Bandit” series of heists.

After a daylong preliminary hearing, a judge ruled there was enough evidence to hold Stephen Francis Colburn to answer to the charges, along with an attempted robbery count.

The 54-year-old defendant’s federal bank robbery convictions date back to 1982 - two in Maine and one in Southern California, said Deputy District Attorney Allison Worden.

Joshua Luskin, a former branch manager at World Savings on Torrey Pines Road, testified that “a big guy” with dark clothing and pantyhose obscuring his face rushed into the bank around 9:40 a.m. on April 28, 2007, and displayed a gun.

“He made it quite apparent it was a robbery,” Luskin said.

The manager testified that when the robber demanded cash, he told him there would be no resistance.

“He got kind of agitated because we don’t carry a lot of money,” Luskin said.

The witness and a former World Savings teller who also testified could not positively identify the defendant in court, citing the nylon over the bandit’s face.

Luskin said the robber had a big nose.

“He was definitely stocky,” Luskin said. “He was a bigger guy.”

Worden said this past Jan. 26, Colburn was arrested after he allegedly tried to hold up a Citibank branch that he had also robbed the previous August.

However, employees recognized him before he gained entrance and locked the door, she said.

The prosecutor said one of the employees followed him a short distance, got a vehicle description and license plate, and flagged down a police officer.

The car was traced to Colburn, who was arrested at his Ocean Beach residence, she said.

The Sheriff’s Department lists Colburn as being 6-foot-2 inches tall and weighing 240 pounds.

Judge Katherine Bacal scheduled an April 13 hearing to set a trial date.