Sources: Bank robbery suspect struggled with drugs, finances

Sources: Bank robbery suspect struggled with drugs, finances »Play Video
Brent Woodall appears in court Thursday suspected of robbing two banks in Southwest Washington on Wednesday and then leading police on a high-speed chase. KATU's news helicopter assisted police by keeping tabs on Woodall's location.

PORTLAND, Ore. – The man police said robbed a Hazell Dell bank and led them on a chase from Washington into Oregon needed money to feed a drug habit, according to multiple sources.

Police confirmed Thursday that in addition to robbing the Riverview Savings bank in Hazel Dell, 29-year-old Brent J. Woodall is also a suspect in the robbery at a Bank of America on Auto Mall on the same day.

Woodall is charged with second-degree robbery and attempting to elude police officers. He could face more criminal charges as investigators look more closely at his actions on Wednesday.

Vancouver police started to pursue Woodall shortly after he left the Riverview bank. A short time later he crossed the Interstate Bridge and into Oregon where Portland police took over the pursuit. They were aided by KATU's news helicopter that helped police keep tabs on the suspect's location. Police caught up to him near the St. Johns Bridge where he was taken into custody.

A Multnomah County judge appointed Woodall an attorney Thursday because Woodall declared he doesn't have enough money to hire one. He pleaded not guilty during court appearance.

Multiple sources told KATU News that Woodall had a heroin problem and needed the money to feed the addiction. According to law enforcement sources, Woodall admitted from jail that he drained the family's savings to feed his drug habit.

A friend of the family said Woodall went into rehab last year for drugs, and that the family was in deep financial trouble.

The Woodalls had their home listed as a short sale last year and were in the midst of trying to stave off a foreclosure on their nice Vancouver home with a gorgeous view.

Woodall was also a bodybuilder at one point and photographs of the competitions he participated in are displayed on Bodybuilding.com.

A drug conviction four years ago notwithstanding, friends described him as considerate, helpful, nice, and a great stepfather to his wife's daughter and two sons.

Woodall's wife, Aimee, and other family members were in the courtroom. They declined to speak to the media.

Woodall is expected back in court at the end of the month.