Police ended a 20-month-long crime spree in Santa Barbara on Sept. 13, 2018, when they arrested a 19-year-old serial robbery suspect.
Police say Brent Thomas Lingiardi confessed to seven robberies in the Santa Barbara area after his arrest, ” detailing intricate facts about the case that only the suspect would know. ” A police search of Lingiardi’s home collected evidence that supported his confession, according to authorities.
Lingiardi is a Santa Barbara resident. He targeted businesses in the area as far back as February 2017, robbing them of cash and merchandise, police say.
Lingiardi is accused of twice robbing the Blenders in the Grass located inside the Five Points shopping center, as well as the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf at the intersection of State and De La Vina streets and the Chevron Gas Station on Coast Village Road in 2017.
The Santa Barbara Police Department says Lingiardi was prevented from robbing a CVS Pharmacy at the Five Points shopping center earlier this year, but say that on Sept. 10, 2018, at about 11 p.m., Lingiardi robbed the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf for a second time.
Police say Lingiardi entered the business carrying a bat and disguising his face. “He went directly to the back office and fled on foot with the entire cash drawer,” said a news release from Santa Barbara Police Department.
On Sept. 11, 2018, at about 10 p.m., SBPD officers responded to the Blenders in the Grass on the Santa Barbara Mesa neighborhood to a call of a robbery that had just occurred. The suspect, in that case, was carrying a baseball bat and wearing a mask while wearing black coveralls. Police later identified him as Lingiardi.
Police Public Engagement Manger Anthony Wagner said, “an anonymous tip led to the investigation in which we arrested him without incident and we questioned him and he confessed to all seven crimes.”
Wagner went on to say surveillance cameras were very useful. “It’s nice that owners are investing in HD quality video.”
Lingiardi is behind bars at the Santa Barbara County Jail awaiting arraignment for seven felony counts of robbery.
Wagner said during the investigation KEYT NewsChannel 3 was contacted and “there are certain elements in which KEYT worked with the police department and KEYT was instrumental in helping us solve this case.”
Police are encouraging anyone with additional information about Lingiardi and his activities to call Santa Barbara Police Detective Douglas Klug at 805-897-2346 or firstname.lastname@example.org.