Ph.D. neuroscientist accused of robbing multiple banks

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SAN DIEGO - A neuroscientist with a Ph.D. is accused of robbing a number of San Diego County credit unions.

Karl Doron, 43, was arrested Tuesday after he entered a Navy Federal Credit Union and allegedly demanded cash from employees, according to FBI Special Agent Davene Butler.

He pleaded not guilty to charges from that incident and a series of other alleged bank robberies on Friday.

Doron's attorney said he is trained as a neuroscientist and holds a Ph.D. According to his LinkedIn profile, he studied Philosophy and Psychological and Brain Sciences at UC Santa Barbara, and was a researcher at UC San Diego for about a year starting in 2014.

Doron pleaded not guilty Friday to seven counts of bank robbery, two counts of attempted bank robbery and one count of carrying a loaded firearm in a public place.

He is accused of stealing more than $13,000, more than $8,500 of which is still unaccounted for, a deputy district attorney said.

Residents in Doron's neighborhood said they were shocked to hear the news.

“You don’t expect to find out that they’re doing something like a bank heist," one neighbor said. "There’s not really any way to rationalize how or why someone would do that, but particularly someone who’s coming from a field based in education. I would not expect that to happen.”

Doron could face 14 years and four months in prison, if convicted, authorities said.

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