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A 29-year-old San Bruno man who pleaded no contest to several counts of felony robbery for a series of robberies at businesses across San Mateo County last year was sentenced to five years state prison Wednesday, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office.

Judge Jeffrey Finigan allegedly denied probation for Blake Townsend, who received 380 days credit for time served. Townsend is believed to have used a replica firearm to rob businesses in Burlingame, Daly City, San Bruno, San Mateo and South San Francisco between June and September of 2018, according to prosecutors.

Townsend was arrested Sept. 12, 2018, near his last robbery of a South San Francisco Shell gas station at 710 El Camino Real. Police officers responding to a report or robbery found Townsend on South Spruce Avenue at Victory Street and detained him, and he was positively identified by a victim, according to prosecutors.

The firearm Townsend is believed to have used for the robberies was a pellet gun, and the $265 in cash he stole from the gas station was recovered and returned to the business, according to prosecutors.

Though District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe felt a 9- or 10-year prison term would have been more appropriate for Townsend, he was glad he was sentenced to prison given the dangerous nature of his robbery spree.

“A replica firearm causes just as much fear in the victim’s mind,” he said. “Our victims are traumatized by this and that sometimes gets forgotten.”

Townsend’s defense attorney Esther Aguayo could not be immediately reached for comment.

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