H-CENTRAL COAST

Aug 27, 2013 1:32 AM by Caroline Lowe, KSBY

EXCLUSIVE:Central Coast Bandit suspect admits to robberies in KSBY interview

A 50-year-old Watsonville woman police call the the Central Coast Bandit admitted to KSBY News Monday night she robbed a half dozen banks.

During an interview at the San Luis Obispo County jail, Cristina Fernandez Padilla said she was desperate for money to buy food and school uniforms for her eleven-year-old daughter.

"I never wanted to hurt anybody and remained calm so not to frighten people," said Padilla.

She said she admitted her string of robberies to a detective who interviewed her Friday night after she was arrested after a police chase.

Padilla said she is remorseful about the crimes and was relieved when police caught her in Paso Robles.

She told KSBY that she told her daughter she was going out to cash a check Friday night and that the girl now thinks her mom is in jail for speeding.

Padilla said she plans to tell her daughter the truth someday and that "people have to pay the consequences when they do things they shouldn't."

She insisted she never used a gun during the bank robberies but admitted giving a teller a note implying she had a loaded weapon.

Padilla said she averaged about a thousand dollars per robbery and chose the smaller banks that didn't have security guards.

She also said she chose to rob banks on the Central Coast where she was not likely to be recognized.

Asked how she felt about admitting to the robberies, she said, "It felt good to get it off my shoulder."

» There are multiple updates to this story. Please click here to get the latest information.

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