'Golden mask robber' pleads guilty
BARSTOW • A Victorville man who sometimes donned a golden masquerade mask and a wig during a string of gas station robberies from Apple Valley to Baker, has pleaded guilty.
Vincent Williams, 44, changed his plea during a preliminary hearing Thursday morning at Barstow Superior Court. Under the plea deal, Williams will face six years in prison after pleading guilty to six counts of robbery and a previous conviction enhancement.
Williams could have faced between 12 and 16 years in prison had the case gone to trial, said Deputy District Attorney Joel Buckingham.
Williams was convicted of robbing six gas stations between July and December. He was suspected of more, including two in Barstow, but there was not enough evidence to charge Williams for those robberies, Buckingham said.
At each robbery, Williams instructed the clerk to give him money from the register as well as a pack of Marlboro Red cigarettes, Buckingham said. He would also force the clerk to walk outside the building with him.
At most of the robberies, he brandished what victims said looked like a gun, Buckingham said. A fake gun was later found at his home so prosecutors couldn’t add gun enhancements to his charges.
Also at most of the robberies, Williams wore sometimes eccentric disguises, such as a golden masquerade mask and a wig, according to testimony by investigating Sheriff’s deputies.
Williams robbed one gas station, the Mohsen Oil Truck Stop in Daggett, three times, each with the same female clerk, Buckingham said. He also robbed the Valero gas station in Baker twice.
Buckingham said investigators were not close to solving the crimes until Williams left personal documents at his last robbery Dec. 7. He was arrested the next day.
In all, Williams stole about $2,000 in all robberies.
He is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 13 at Barstow Superior Court.