Point Loma bank robber known as the ‘Chameleon Bandit’ ordered to stand trial
by NEAL PUTNAM
Published - 11/21/17 - 01:11 PM | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A bank robber known as the "Chameleon Bandit" has been ordered to stand trial for holding up a Point Loma bank as well as robbing five other banks. His nickname came from changes in his appearance in later bank robberies. 

One teller from the Pacific Western Bank, at 1661 Rosecrans St., was among seven other tellers and witnesses who testified in the two-day preliminary hearing of Darius Demon Lake, 28, and a second man, Bryan Lee Barkely, 24, both of El Cajon. 

Barkely, who is also known as Bryan Barkley, is not charged with the Point Loma bank robbery, but is accused of committing several other hold-ups with Lake.  

Both men will appear Nov. 30 in San Diego Superior Court to set a trial date. Judge Lisa Schall ordered them to stand trial on all counts on Nov. 15.

Video surveillance at the Point Loma bank shows Lake entering at 1:37 p.m. on Oct. 12 and yelled a profanity loudly at one teller, which was followed by "give me all of your money," according to court documents. Lake allegedly received $1,612 from several tellers and told them to get down on the floor before he left.

The bank robber wore a camouflage baseball cap, sunglasses, a heavy dark winter jacket with light colored shorts, dark socks with white colored shoes, according to court records. Two days later, Lake allegedly robbed a Navy Federal Credit Union in San Marcos and wore a black beanie, sunglasses, a black long sleeve shirt and baggy jeans, a court document says.

When Lake allegedly robbed a Mission Federal Credit Union in El Cajon on Oct. 19, the robber wore a white shirt, a black jacket with light colored stripes, gray shorts, and white sports type shoes. The "Chameleon Bandit" also used profanities in making demands to tellers and threatened to kill one teller in the Bank of the West branch in El Cajon on Oct. 5.

The haul from all six bank robberies comes to $16,801. In the Mission Federal Credit Union hold-up, a customer lost $300 in cash and his debit card while he was standing in line.

Lake is also facing a third strike sentence as he was convicted in U.S. District Court in San Diego of three bank robberies. Barkely has been convicted of an assault charge previously, court records say.

El Cajon Police arrested Barkely on Oct. 29 and Lake on Oct. 30. Both pleaded not guilty at the start of their preliminary hearing.

Lake's bail figure is $500,000 while Barkely's bail is $250,000 and both remain in jail.

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