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‘Estranged Bandit', 3 others in police custody

• Four arrested for Santa Barbara bank robbery

Posted: June 5, 2008 2:51 a.m.
Updated: August 6, 2008 5:03 a.m.

Four people were arrested Saturday for their involvement in an armed bank robbery that day in Santa Barbara, officials confirmed Wednesday. Two of the suspects were arrested in Valencia.

David Patrick Thomas was booked on suspicion or robbery, while three others were booked on conspiracy to commit robbery, according to Lt. Armando Martell of the Santa Barbara Police Department.

Thomas, whose method has allegedly been to inform the bank teller that he is robbing the bank because he needs money for his divorce, was held by the Santa Barbara Police Department after the FBI arrested him in Valencia with the assistance of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station and the SBPD.

Shortly after 10:30 a.m. Saturday morning, Thomas allegedly brandished a handgun and demanded a large amount of cash from two tellers at a Citibank branch at 3757 State Street in Santa Barbara before fleeing the area in a silver Chrysler and driving toward the Santa Clarita Valley. Martell added that one of the bank tellers was able to write down the vehicle's license plate number. Hours later, FBI agents were able to track the license plate to a residence in Valencia.

When agents, deputies and police officers arrived Saturday afternoon at the home, Thomas and one of his accomplices attempted to escape in his vehicle, yet both were caught moments later on Rockwell Canyon Road in front of College of the Canyons.

Martell confirmed that the accomplice with Thomas was Amy Elizabeth Barbabella, who was booked on conspiracy charges. After questioning the duo, authorities were informed that two others - Ruben Carrisales Sr., and his son, Ruben Carrisales Jr. - were involved with the robbery. Both were arrested in Carpinteria and also booked on conspiracy charges.

Authorities recovered a majority of the stolen cash - the amount of which was not disclosed - a replica handgun and clothing allegedly used by the suspects in the robbery.

According to authorities, Saturday's crime was the latest in a string of bank robberies by Thomas, who is believed to be responsible for 11 similar thefts throughout Southern California. It is also believed that Thomas' modus operandi is to approach a teller and inform them that he in the midst of a divorce and needs to wire money to his wife before her attorney finds out.


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