Convicted bank robber held for violation of probation


PITTSFIELD -- A convicted bank robber who was put on probation for the March 2012 daylight robbery of a credit union office is being held without bail after allegedly violating her probation for a second time.

On Monday, Brenda Santos, 23, of Boston, was brought into Berkshire Superior Court for her second probation violation in six months and was ordered held pending a hearing scheduled for Oct. 16.

The probation department alleges that Santos skipped out of her drug treatment program in Boston in June and has been in violation since then. A warrant was issued for her apprehension and she was brought back to the Berkshires after being arrested in Boston on a misdemeanor charge of receiving stolen property.

On March 30, 2012, Santos walked into the Greylock Federal Credit Union office on Elm Street wearing a hooded sweatshirt and dark sunglasses, handed a teller a note and made off with $2,900 in cash, said police and prosecutors.

She and a codefendant, 32-year-old Brandon Wood, who met in a drug rehab program, were arrested a few days after in Brookline after police learned of their plans to rob two banks there, according to authorities.

In April, Santos pleaded guilty to a single count of unarmed robbery and was given two years probation as part of a joint recommendation between the Berkshire District Attorney's Office and her lawyer, Jill Sheldon. Santos, unable to make bail, was held in jail for close to a year before her change of plea.

The maximum sentence for unarmed robbery is life in state prison.

At the time, Judge John A. Agostini told Santos she was getting a second chance at life and that she shouldn't squander the opportunity. A week later, she left her court ordered drug treatment program and disappeared for two weeks. After being taken into custody, she was reprobated and sent back to Boston to resume drug treatment, but allegedly skipped out again.

Santos' newest case remains pending in South Boston District Court. She is scheduled to be back there Sept. 30.

Woods, who Sheldon said was the "mastermind" behind the crime, is currently serving a 3 1 2 to five-year state prison sentence for the Greylock robbery and another bank heist in Boston. He pleaded out in both cases.

To reach Andrew Amelinckx:,
or (413) 496-6249.
On Twitter: @BE_TheAmelinckx.


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