Things you don't want police to find if you're suspected of being the "Band-Aid Bandit":
- Band-Aid wrappers
- A 20-count box of Band-Aids, nearly empty
- A polo shirt with a Band-Aid stuck on the sleeve
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Unfortunately for 23-year-old Andrew Jason Gonzalez, that's what authorities found when they searched the Merced home he shares with his parents on Edwards Avenue, according to search warrant documents.
Gonzalez is a suspect in nearly 30 robberies in the Central Valley and Bay Area, authorities say. Police said he wore a Band-Aid under his left eye to cover a mole on his face during the robberies.
Gonzalez is facing eight felony robbery counts in Stanislaus County. On Feb. 5, prosecutors will lay out their case against Gonzalez during a three-hour preliminary hearing.
He has not entered a plea to any of the charges, court officials said Wednesday. Attempts to reach Gonzalez's court-appointed attorney were unsuccessful.
Besides the bandages, police recovered a .22-caliber revolver, a 9 mm chrome semiautomatic pistol and bullets, the documents said. While authorities said the Band-Aid Bandit pulled a black revolver on the store clerks he robbed, no one was hurt. Detectives did not report finding any large cash stashes in Gonzalez's home.
The Band-Aid Bandit started his spree in Turlock, police said, robbing three businesses from June to August. Stores in Manteca, Ceres, Lathrop and Tracy also were hit.
But an October robbery at the Modesto Foster's Freeze restaurant on Pelandale Avenue led detectives to their suspect. A witness recorded a license plate number at the scene that connected Gonzalez to a white Chevrolet Cavalier convertible with a tan top, identified by witnesses in other robberies, police said.
Gonzalez also was identified as the bandit through a photo lineup, surveillance video and a witness description, police said.
Police said the bandit would ask a store clerk for change or make a small purchase, then pull out his revolver when the cash drawer was open. He would take cash from the drawer or demand that the clerk do it for him.
Gonzalez is being held in the Stanislaus County Jail on bail of $150,000 and $75,000. The charges were divided into two criminal complaints, so two bail amounts were set.