"Dying Son Bandit" arrested at Carlsbad home - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

"Dying Son Bandit" arrested at Carlsbad home

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CARLSBAD (CNS) - A 49-year-old Carlsbad man suspected of carrying out a string of bank robberies and attempted robberies in San Diego and Orange counties in which he allegedly told tellers he needed money for his dying son, has been arrested Saturday, according to the FBI.

Steven Craig Hart was arrested without incident about 12:30 a.m. as a result of a multi-jurisdictional investigation into 11 "Dying Son Bandit" robberies and attempts, FBI Special Agent Keith Slotter said in a statement released by the bureau.

The suspect allegedly claimed the money from the heists was needed for his son, but the investigation determined the references to a dying son were false, the statement said.

The bandit allegedly told tellers he had a gun and would use it if they didn't give him money.

The FBI credited a recent tip that led to Hart's arrest.

A Carlsbad police SWAT team surrounded and executed a search warrant at Hart's residence in the 2000 block of Avenue of the Trees, near Carlsbad Village Drive.

The search turned up evidence related to the investigation, and he was taken into custody by Carlsbad police and the FBI.

Hart was subsequently booked into the Vista Detention Facility, where he was held pending his arraignment.

The "Dying Son Bandit" was believed to be responsible for the following robberies:

-- Nov. 14, 2011, Navy Federal Credit Union, 1824 Marron Road, Carlsbad;

-- Dec. 16, 2011, California Bank and Trust, 135 Saxony Road, Encinitas;

-- Dec. 31, 2011, Bank of America, 4150 Oceanside Blvd., Oceanside;

-- Jan. 5, U.S. Bank, 33621 Del Obispo, Dana Point;

-- Jan. 6, Citibank, 740 South Rancho Santa Fe, San Marcos;

-- Jan. 13, Wells Fargo Bank, 10707 Camino Cruz, San Diego;

-- Jan. 20, Citibank, 24221 Calle De La Louisa, Laguna Hills.

He also was believed responsible for three attempted robberies at banks in Oceanside, Encinitas and in Laguna Hills in Orange County, according to the FBI.

The Carlsbad Police Department, the San Diego County Sheriff's Department, the Oceanside Police Department, the Orange County Sheriff's Department, the San Diego Police Department and FBI agents from Los Angeles and San Diego participated in various aspects of the investigation.

The FBI asked anyone with information on the robberies to contact them at (858) 565-1255, or call Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.

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