Man accused of robbing a Clairemont-area bank pleads not guilty

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – A man accused of robbing a Clairemont-area bank on Saturday, then leading authorities on a chase through the Midway District, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to three counts of robbery.

Oscar Esteban Valle, 27, was ordered held on $1 million bail.

Deputy District Attorney Jim Koerber told Judge David Szumowski that police were on alert Saturday because banks in San Diego had been robbed the previous two Saturdays.

About 1:30 p.m., Valle allegedly robbed three tellers at the Wells Fargo bank on Balboa Avenue near Genesee, the prosecutor said.

Thanks to a tracking device put in a bag with the stolen money, police followed Valle’s car for 10 minutes into the Midway District.

Koerber said a police helicopter caught Valle throwing clothing and money out of his vehicle, which he eventually crashed into a parked patrol car. Police said Valle abandoned his vehicle and ran barefoot between cars on the Interstate 8 offramp at Sports Arena Boulevard before being arrested.

The prosecutor said police are looking into Valle’s possible involvement in other crimes.

Valle — who went to prison in 2010 for an auto theft conviction — will be back in court Monday for a bail review.

A readiness conference was set for Oct. 3 and a preliminary hearing for Oct. 7.

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