A Stockton man with a history of robbery convictions was in court Friday afternoon to hear charges against him for a string of bank robberies in San Joaquin County — including a Lodi Bank of the West last week.
Phillip Dale Selfa, 58, is charged with eight counts, including felony burglary and reporting a false bomb, stemming from four separate bank robberies in Lodi Lockeford, Lindon and Ripon. Selfa has three previous federal convictions (1978, 1982 and 1989) for burglary. He was listed as a career criminal by the U.S. Attorney's Office in 1990.
Selfa said he understood the charges against him but could not afford an attorney since he has no assets.
Through his court-appointed attorney, Chrishna Martinez, Selfa objected to media and television news crews appearing in the court. The objection was overruled by San Joaquin County Superior Court Judge Franklin Stephenson, who said the media had requested to be there in advance and could witness the proceedings.
Selfa is accused of robbing several banks in the county between December 2010 and May 2011. The most recent robbery took place the morning of May 9 when Selfa allegedly handed a clerk a handwritten note demanding money. After receiving an undisclosed amount of cash, Selfa is accused of leaving a bag behind in the bank he had told employees was filled with explosives.
A January robbery of the Bank of the West in Lockeford followed a similar pattern. Selfa is also charged with burglary and reporting a false bomb for a Bank of the West in Ripon and an F&M Bank in Linden.
Selfa was arrested in Stockton Wednesday morning by San Joaquin Sheriff's deputies and SWAT officers.
He is being held on a $950,000 bond and will be back in court June 6 for further arraignment.
Contact reporter Jordan Guinn at firstname.lastname@example.org.