Alleged credit union robber held on $250,000 bail

Friday April 6, 2012

PITTSFIELD -- The homeless woman accused of robbing the Greylock Federal Credit Union branch on Elm Street was arraigned on Friday in district court.

Brenda A. Santos, 22, of Whitman, entered a not guilty plea in Central Berkshire District Court to one count of unarmed robbery in connection with the incident that occurred at the credit union on March 30.

Santos is alleged to have entered the branch at 71 Elm St. wearing a hooded sweatshirt and dark sunglasses at around 4:30 p.m., where she handed a teller a note that read: "I know more about you than u think. No Dye Packs or tracers, wait 5 mins before Alerting Anyone!"

The teller then handed Santos a bag filled with $2,900 in cash, according to police.

Santos allegedly was seen fleeing the scene and entering a car located in the parking lot of Harry's Supermarket where she met Brandon Wood, 31, of Jason Street, Pittsfield. The two were driven to the Joseph Scelsi Intermodal Transportation Center by Wood's grandfather, according to police, where they took a Peter Pan bus to Boston.

Police from the FBI's Boston office contacted Pittsfield police on Thursday, notifying them that Wood had been arrested for the attempted robbery of two banks in Brookline. The FBI investigators told local police that the note used in those robberies was an exact match for the one used at the Greylock Federal Credit Union.

Santos, who was staying in a hotel with Woods and being brought in for questioning, gave detectives a full confession to the Pittsfield robbery, according to police reports, and said all the money she had taken had been spent on heroin.

Santos appeared hunched over in court with her head covered by a gray hooded sweatshirt. She did not respond to Judge Rita S. Koenigs questions verbally, instead nodding in response.

Koenigs ordered Santos held at the Berkshire County Jail and House of Corrections on $250,000 cash bail. Santos is due back in court on May 4.

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