A convicted bank robber is back in jail this month after authorities say he used notes to rob two Mechanics Bank branches in Berkeley and Oakland over a recent period of about five weeks.

The Alameda County district attorney’s office charged 60-year-old Edwin Herold of Oakland on Nov. 23 with two counts of second-degree robbery. Herold already has a conviction from 2010 for robbing the same Mechanics Bank branch in Berkeley that was hit recently, according to court records.

The recent robbery took place Oct. 12 at the Berkeley Mechanics Bank at 2301 Shattuck Ave. (at Bancroft Way). That day, a man entered the downtown Berkeley bank and used a note to rob a teller, who turned over $2,500 to him, according to court papers.

About five weeks later, Nov. 16, a man went into the Mechanics Bank branch at 1999 Harrison St. in Oakland at about 11 a.m. and handed a note on a deposit slip to a teller that said, “25,000 and no one will get hurt.” The teller gave the man $90 in “bait money,” according to court papers. He grabbed the cash and walked out.

During their investigation, Berkeley police detectives found surveillance footage of the bank robbery suspect and asked other law enforcement agencies to be on the lookout for him. One of those agencies recognized Herold and gave his name to BPD, which then secured a warrant for Herold’s arrest.

On Nov. 20 at 3:10 p.m., two Berkeley PD bicycle officers spotted Herold walking on Telegraph Avenue and arrested him near Dwight Way, BPD told Berkeleyside on Monday.

According to court papers, Edwin Herold confessed to robbing both banks and “provided intricate details” of the Oakland bank robbery to police after he was advised of his right to remain silent. Herold also identified himself in surveillance photographs and “was remorseful for his actions,” police wrote.

It’s not Edwin Herold’s first bank robbery case, according to authorities and media reports. In 2010, Herold was sent to prison after he was convicted of robbing the Berkeley Mechanics Bank branch that was robbed in October, according to court papers.

In 2012, he was charged with robbing the Oakland Mechanics Bank that was robbed in November, according to The Mercury News. That case was dismissed as part of another indictment, according to court records.

If convicted in the new case, it would be Herold’s second strike, according to court papers.

He remains in custody at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin and is scheduled for the preliminary hearing — where a judge decides whether there is enough evidence for a case to proceed to trial — Jan. 5, 2021. Herold is being held without bail, according to jail records online.

Emilie Raguso (former senior editor, news) joined Berkeleyside in 2012 and covered politics, public safety and development until her departure in 2022. In 2017, Emilie was named Journalist of the Year...