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East Palo Alto church vandal to pay nearly $10,000 in damages

Man smashed windows in search of a bathroom in January

A San Jose man who smashed the windows of three East Palo Alto churches in search of a bathroom must pay a total of $9,725 in restitution, a San Mateo County Superior Court judge has ordered.

Robert Banks, 21, used a shovel to break windows at The Church of the Living God and Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church on Pulgas Avenue and the Open Door Church Of God on O'Connor Street on Jan. 26 at 4 a.m., according to the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office.

Judge Jonathan Karesh ordered Banks to pay $8,656.47 to Open Door Church of God and $1,069 to Mount Olive Missionary Baptist and restitution in an amount yet to be determined to the Church of the Living God.

Banks pleaded no contest to one count of felony vandalism during a pretrial conference on May 23. He originally faced three felony counts. Under the plea deal, he received three years of supervised probation and 108 days in county jail with credit for time served. He must also obtain counseling and pay other court fees.

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Short story writers wanted!

The 33rd Annual Palo Alto Weekly Short Story Contest is now accepting entries for Adult, Young Adult (15-17) and Teen (12-14) categories. Send us your short story (2,500 words or less) and entry form by March 29. First, Second and Third Place prizes awarded in each category.

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