Colbert, a 40-year-old formerly of Fresno, pleaded guilty in August to the bank robbery, and five other charges related to his past felony convictions.
His co-defendant, 41-year-old George Beesley, allegedly robbed the bank, 1175 N. Tracy Blvd., on the morning of April 4.
Beesley, of Martinez, is already serving a two-year prison sentence at Deuel Vocational Institution in rural Tracy after pleading guilty to his involvement in the robbery. Court officials said Beesley’s sentence was lower because of he lacked a prior criminal record.
According to police, the two men entered the bank around 10 a.m., taking an undisclosed amount of cash from two tellers. They were arrested by Tracy police during a traffic stop minutes after the robbery at the intersection of Tracy Boulevard and Interstate 205 onramp.
Prosecutor Ron Indran said in a phone interview on Monday that Colbert asked Judge Bernard Garber to remove his previous five criminal strikes for robbery convictions. Under the three strike law it would place him in a higher sentencing level.
The judge denied his request.
According to Indran, Colbert’s criminal record showed that he had served prison time for the armed robbery of a bank and a convenience store 14 years ago. He said Colbert was out of trouble for about eight years before being arrested for the most recent robbery.
Colbert’s sentence was based on his prior criminal record and the fact that he wore a mask and he was in possession of a cooler of ice to deactivate a GPS device placed in the bag of money by bank employees, according to Indran.
Tracy Detective Trevin Freitas, who investigated the robbery, said on Tuesday that such tracking devices have been used by different banks for at least a decade. He said its use depends upon the individual bank’s procedures.
“It showed a lot of criminal sophistication,” said Indran.
Colbert reportedly told the judge that he was a productive citizen and that he did not pose a threat to society.
However, Indran said that even though no weapon was used and nobody was hurt during the Tracy robbery, the act is still considered a violent felony by law.
• Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at 830-4225 or firstname.lastname@example.org.