Social media posts lead to bank robbery arrest

Published 10:56 am Thursday, January 31, 2019

Social media posts led to the arrest of a suspect in a bank robbery in Advance.

Nathan Jamal Barrett, 21, of Winston-Salem, was arrested Sunday for the Friday morning robbery of the Bank of the Ozarks branch on NC 801.

Davie Sheriff J.D. Hartman said that photos of the suspect and his vehicle were circulated on social media that led to identifying Barrett as the suspect. Barrett confessed to the crime after he was arrested at his job at Ashley Furniture, saying he just needed some money.

Hartman said the suspect had been seen in the area near the bank for a couple of hours before robbery just after 10 a.m. , walking, jogging and doing exercises.

“He had been there all morning. We had dozens of witnesses for two hours who saw him.”

They also had video surveillance from outside an adjacent business, where he had parked his vehicle. It was the photo of that vehicle that led someone to recognize it.

The suspect didn’t show a weapon when he entered the bank demanding money from tellers, wearing a hoodie, sunglasses and a bandanna over his face. No weapon was found when he was arrested, Hartman said.

Authorities could smell the odor of marijuana in his vehicle, and were in the process of getting a search warrant.

He left with an estimated $3,300 from the bank, $2,300 of which was recovered. Hartman said he is believed to have spent the rest on drugs, and drug charges are likely to follow. He will also be charged with another count of robbery for taking a clerk’s wallet.

Barrett is scheduled to face the charge of common law robbery at a first-appearance hearing Thursday in Davie District Court. He was being held in lieu of a $50,000 bond.