SANTA ANA ( — The man believed to be the “Hills Bandit” reportedly pleaded not guilty in a Santa Ana courtroom Monday to a string of bank robberies that stretched from Santa Barbara to Laguna Niguel.

Stephen Richard Bartlett, 53, will head to trial on Jan. 6.

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FBI Special Agent Christopher Gicking said Bartlett went into a Citibank in Laguna Hills on July 16 and handed a teller a demand note that said: “This is a robbery, I have a gun. Give me your 20s, 50s and 100s from both drawers.”

Bartlett was also charged with these holdups:

— On May 6, at a Wells Fargo branch at 25632 Alicia Parkway in Laguna Hills, where $14,578 was taken;

— On July 25, at a Citibank at 23562 El Toro Road in Lake Forest, where $11,249 was stolen;

— On Aug. 8, at a U.S. Bank branch at 24340 El Toro Road in Laguna Woods, where $8,078 was taken;

— On Aug. 22, at a Wells Fargo branch at 30160 Town Center Drive in Laguna Niguel, where $9,600 was stolen;

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— On Sept. 8, at a U.S. Bank branch at 30000 Town Center Drive in Laguna Niguel, where $2,810 was taken;

— On Sept. 15, at a Bank of the West branch at 3780 State St. in Santa Barbara, where $4,375 was stolen;

— And on Sept. 26, at a Montecito Bank and Trust at 3802 S. State St. in Santa Barbara, where $1,829 was taken.

He is also a suspect in bank robberies in San Ramon and Granite City as well as an attempted bank robbery in San Diego County.

Bartlett was arrested a month ago after he led police on a wild pursuit starting in Santa Fe Springs. The chase ended in San Bernardino County after he lost control of the truck and crashed before surrendering.

Whittier police said they recovered a fake firearm that he threw from the vehicle at the beginning of the pursuit.

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