Stop Thief!

The alleged State Street Bandit was apprehended this week while using free Internet service at the downtown Santa Barbara Public Library. Believed by authorities to be responsible for four downtown bank robberies since December 2005, Brent Poort was arrested early Saturday afternoon after investigators received a tip from a federal probation officer with knowledge of the case. Poort’s distinctive garb during the stick-ups – a black ski parka, black mask, and black handgun – helped authorities connect the tip to the recent rash of robberies. Poort, 33, was released last year from a Texas prison after serving six-and-a-half years for bank robberies there; he had reportedly moved to the area to be close to family in Ventura. Charged with four counts of armed robbery, Poort is being held on $1 million bail and faces a possible life sentence.

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