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Man, 61, faces charges tied to burglaries at four Menlo Park restaurants

Charge of receiving stolen property dismissed

A 61-year-old man charged with burglarizing four Menlo Park restaurants has been held to answer after a preliminary hearing on Monday, April 20. Prosecution of five felony burglary counts will proceed, but a charge of receiving stolen property was dismissed for insufficient evidence.

Defense attorney Richard Keyes's request that all counts be reduced to misdemeanors was denied, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office.

Alfred Lee Banks of East Palo Alto was arrested Feb. 10 when a Menlo Park police officer noticed during a traffic stop that he allegedly matched the description of a suspect caught by surveillance cameras at the restaurants.

Mr. Banks is charged for breaking into Jan's Deli on Alma Street (twice), the Cool Cafe on O'Brien Drive, Galata Bistro on Santa Cruz Avenue and Mardini's Deli Cafe on Willow Road, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office.

In each case, a burglar forced open the front door and stole money from the cash register, usually $100 to $200, prosecutors said. At Cool Cafe a safe holding $1,300 was taken. The thefts took place between November 2014 and February 2015, according to the report.

Mr. Banks had been convicted of felony burglary on Jan. 14, prosecutors said, and was expected to surrender on March 14 to serve one year in county jail, with one day credit for time served. He was also sentenced to three years of supervised probation.

He remains in custody on $100,000 bail, according to the DA report.

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