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Student arrested as hoodie bandit accomplice

A USF criminology student is still being held in jail without bail for aiding a serial robber.

Senior Kara Guggino was arrested Friday after police saw her sitting in the passenger seat of 26-year-old Yener Vahit Belli’s Jeep near a Shell gas station on Falkenburg Road in Tampa. Belli, who police nicknamed the “hoodie bandit,” has garnered a reputation for wearing a hooded sweatshirt and sunglasses while allegedly robbing small convenience stores’ cash registers, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO).

HCSO public information officer Debbie Carter said Belli has robbed up to 10 Tampa convenience stores since Oct. 12, three of which can be connected to Guggino.

“(Police) had developed information as to the identity of the gentleman responsible,” Carter said. “(Guggino) was in the vehicle when we made the arrest.”

Carter said Guggino will face three separate counts of armed robbery, while Belli was charged with 18 counts of armed robbery.

A news release from the sheriff’s office states that the suspects robbed a Beverage Castle in Brandon, a Chevron in Seffner, a Hess station in Valrico and a Handy Food Store in Tampa. The release also said the suspect was armed with “a handgun described as an ‘Uzi’ type.”

Guggino and Belli are both being held without bail in the Orient Road Jail