The Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office has arrested who they believe robbed the Centennial Bank in Navarre back in April of this year.
Law enforcement arrested 22-year-old Joel Beauchemin, of Birmingham Drive in Navarre after obtaining a tip and DNA evidence from the crime scene that matched Beauchemin’s DNA.
The Sheriff’s Office made the arrest on Sept. 25 after months of investigation. The suspect was booked into Santa Rosa County Jail on $30,000 bond.
According to the arrest report, law enforcement responded to 8524 Navarre Parkway (Centennial Bank) at 9:30 a.m. on April 17. Two employees at the bank told officers that a man walked up to the counter wearing Aviator-type sunglasses and clear latex gloves and he held up a note demanding “at least $1,000”. The suspect’s note stated “Give me all the hundreds. At least 1,000, and no one gets hurt”, according to the original arrest report.
The clerk told the robber that she did not have that, but laid a stack of $50 bills on the counter totaling $150. At that point, the suspect demanded more money, the report stated.
That’s when the teller handed him some $20 bills. The suspect then grabbed the cash and fled from the bank.
The teller told responding officers that the suspect did not furnish a weapon.
The suspect got away with approximately $1,290 in cash, according the incident report.
The tellers told officers that the suspect ran into a wooded area just west of the bank after he left the bank with the money. A K-9 unit was dispatched and tracked down the suspect’s tracks. The SRSO K-9 led officers to a vacant lot on the south side of Esplanade Street where they located a clear pair of latex gloves. The K-9 later sniffed out the suspect’s hooded jacket, gray toboggan and Aviator sunglasses, that he was seen wearing in video surveillance photos during the robbery.
According to the arrest report, the SRSO got a tip on May 20 that Beauchemin might be a suspect in the robbery case.
They later tracked down Beauchemin on June 29 and spoke with him. The alleged suspect told deputies he had heard about the robbery. When asked if he had anything to do with the robbery, the Beauchemin told the officer “Hell no. I was at work.”
When deputies spoke to employees at his place of employment, they found that the suspect arrived late to work that day. The report indicated that his employer stated he thought Beauchemin came in around noon that day.
Investigators were able to obtain a buccal swab from Beauchemin when they interviewed him in June. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement took the DNA sample and eventually matched it to the DNA found on the latex gloves. The DNA’s matched up with Beauchemin’s, according to the arrest report.
Beauchemin was taken into custody after the warrant was placed on him by the state attorney’s office. He remains behind bars as of press time.