Santa Rosa, CA – July 22, 2020 – Defendant William Drew Hodges, 54 years old of Rohnert Park, was sentenced earlier today by the Honorable Christopher Honigsberg to serve 33 years, 8 months in state prison after having been convicted in December last year of committing 11 separate robberies.
District Attorney Ravitch stated, “This defendant left a wake of victims in his path, many of them young and particularly vulnerable due to being confronted while working alone in retail settings. The lengthy prison sentence is appropriate and hopefully provides the victims, and the community, with some measure of relief that the defendant will be in prison for many years to come.”
On August 23, 2017 Hodges walked into a Baskin Robbins Ice Cream Shop in Santa Rosa, pointed a replica semi-automatic handgun at the young female clerk, who was alone in the business at the time, and demanded cash. That same morning, Hodges walked into a clothing boutique in Windsor, pointed the replica handgun at two female victims and demanded cash. Over the subsequent 5 weeks Hodges proceeded to rob a total of 11 victims in the same manner. Each victim was young, some still in high school. After each robbery Hodges told the victim, “Don’t call the police. There’s someone outside watching you.”
After one incident the victims were so traumatized they crawled on their hands and knees across the floor and locked themselves in the nearest room to avoid being seen by Hodges. Others were so shaken that even when a uniformed police officer arrived to help them they were reluctant to go outside to speak with them.
In December of 2019, after a 7 week trial that involved emotional testimony from the victims, a jury convicted Hodges of all charges filed against him.
In addition to the 11 current charges, Hodges had 3 prior felony robbery convictions, and was on state parole after being released from prison for a felony assault with deadly weapon conviction in 2009.
Deputy District Attorney Jamie Kandel prosecuted the case on behalf of the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office. He was assisted by District Attorney Investigator Lyn McCarthy and Victim Advocate Elizabeth Garcia. The case was investigated by the Santa Rosa Police Department and Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety Detectives Hector DeLeon and Jon Kemp. The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office, Cotati Police Department, Petaluma Police Department and the San Rafael Police Department assisted with the investigation.