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Alleged wig-wearing bank robber arrested in Yucca Valley

Harold Henry Ghaemmaghami, accused of robbing a U.S. Bank in La Quinta, is seen in these photos provided by the Riverside County Sheriff's Department.
November 20, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
A man who had been previously convicted for several bank robberies was arrested once again for allegedly robbing a bank in La Quinta in Riverside County.

Authorities say Harold Henry Ghaemmaghami was wanted for an armed robbery at a U.S. Bank that happened Nov. 9. The suspect entered the branch wearing a blond wig, walked up to a teller and said he had a gun as he demanded money. The teller complied, and the suspect fled with an undisclosed amount of money.

On Sunday, the 50-year-old Joshua Tree resident was located at 5741 Primrose Dr. in Yucca Valley and taken into custody. It's unclear what led investigators to him.

Ghaemmaghami was taken to Riverside County jail in Indio, where he was booked for armed robbery.

According to court documents, Ghaemmaghami has a long criminal record dating back to at least 1995, when he was arrested for his participation in several bank robberies. The defense was able to reach a plea deal with prosecutors, and he was sentenced to 120 months in prison and five years of supervised release. In 2006, he was ordered back to jail for violating the terms of his supervised release.

Then in 2008, he was arrested again for trying to steal a car from an automobile lot. He was sentenced to two years, but because it was his second strike, his sentence was doubled to four years in state prison.

In 2012, the court found him in violation of his probation, and he was sentenced to 18 months in prison. Before his sentencing hearing, he told the judge in a letter that he was prepared to turn his life around and acknowledged his addiction to drugs.

"I am committed to changing my life, and therapy and sobriety are the cornerstones of that change," he said.

Ghaemmaghami also revealed at that time that while he was in custody, he found out that he was the father of a girl, who is now 5 years old.

"Since that day, my life has been so much more complicated, but she is such a sweet and absolutely wonderful child who needs a dad," he said. "I grew up in a broken home, and I know how important a dad is to a child, and I need to pay my debt to society so that I can get out and take care of my responsibilities."

Ghaemmaghami was released from prison earlier this year on Jan. 29.

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