A 20-month nightmare of Santa Barbara businesses might be over.
Police investigators said they arrested a 19-year-old man Sept. 13 who they believe was responsible for a robbery spree that seemed to target juice and coffee shops in the city, according to a post on the Santa Barbara Police Department Facebook page.
Investigators say Brent T. Lingiardi’s spree started in February 2017, nabbing cash and merchandise.
The man allegedly roved over several neighborhoods in Santa Barbara as he robbed Blenders in the Grass stores three times, two Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf shops and a Chevron gas station, police said. He also attempted to rob a CVS store, police said.
Lingiardi’s last two robberies involved him donning a mask and black coveralls, and wielding a bat, investigators said.
In one surveillance photo, the robber looks like the DC Comics villain Scarecrow.
In one of the robberies, police said, Lingiardi ran to the back of a store, grabbed the cash drawer and “fled on foot with the entire cash drawer.”
Police said they arrested him without incident. Lingiardi confessed to seven robberies, investigators said, and detailed “intricate facts about the case that only the suspect would know.”
Officers later searched his house and found more evidence to back up Lingiardi’s confession, investigators said.
He’s now in the Santa Barbara County jail on seven counts of felony robbery.
Court records show he also pleaded no contest earlier in 2018 to disorderly conduct while intoxicated.