Alleged 'Big Top bandits' arrested near Seattle

July 23, 2013 at 5:39 PM

SEATTLE, July 23 (UPI) -- Two men have been charged with a series of Seattle-area bank robberies that became known as the work of the "Big Top bandits," the FBI says.

Jeffery Lamont Pool, 47, of Wichita Falls, Texas, and Luther Ray Leonard, 23, of Renton, Wash., were arrested at their home in Renton early Monday, the FBI said in a release. They allegedly carried out five armed bank robberies between Jan. 16 and July 1 in Seattle and surrounding communities.

The robbers became known as the "Big Top bandits" because they wore a variety of hats during the holdups.

While no one was seriously injured during any of the robberies, on one occasion a shot was fired inside a bank. In June, one of the robbers hit a teller in the face.

The FBI said Pool is also wanted in Texas on armed robbery and parole violation charges.

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