'Santa Bandit' Arrested After String of Armed Robberies

A woman suspected of robbing stores wearing a Santa hat has been arrested by authorities in northern San Diego County.

Escondido police officials say officers tried to make a traffic stop Wednesday morning when the driver took off. The vehicle crashed a short distance away and the woman driver tried to run away.

Police say officers caught and arrested 27-year-old Michelle Francis Lefever.

After searching her car, authorities say the officers found evidence linking Lefever to several of the recent armed robberies that have taken place throughout the city of Escondido.

Lefever was booked into the detention center at Vista on several charges including armed robbery, auto theft and possession of a controlled substance.

There was no telephone number listed for Lefever in the Escondido area.