Bank robbery suspect caught
by Wes Mayer
The man suspected of robbing the Wells Fargo bank branch on Georgia Highway 34 East/ Bullsboro Drive was caught within hours of the robbery Tuesday afternoon.
Around 2:31, the Wells Fargo bank office on Amlajack Boulevard at the entrance to Shenandoah Industrial Park activated their alarm and notified authorities of a robbery. Officers were told that a man wearing black clothes and a black hat approached a bank teller and handed her a note which said, 'This is a robbery,' and, 'No dye packs.' He then received an undisclosed amount of money and fled the scene on foot.
More than 30 officers, deputies and investigators from the Coweta County Crime Suppression Unit, Coweta Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigation Division, Patrol Division and Newnan Police Department worked together to quickly identify and apprehend the suspect. Shortly after 5 p.m., Jonathan Alexander Felix-Soto, 28, was located, questioned and confessed to the robbery.
'We really want to commend all of the good work of our agencies and how well they worked together and also commend the local businesses who helped us locate this suspect,' said Lt. John Lewis with the Coweta County Sheriff's Office.
Felix-Soto admitted to the robbery after it became clear that investigators had a large amount of evidence against him, Lewis said. Using video surveillance from the bank, investigators were able to put together a useful description of the suspect by his skin color, clothing (a recognizable 'AERO 87' on his shirt), white earbud headphones and identifiable facial hair. Nearby businesses were equally helpful in providing their surveillance videos which showed the suspect fleeing on foot, and investigators were able to tell which direction he had fled.
Initially, witnesses told authorities that the suspect had run into the nearby RaceTrac gas station, Lewis said. There, two different men who matched the description and had questionable alibis agreed to be taken into custody for further questioning.
They were later cleared of suspicion and released.
According to Lewis, sheriff's office Deputy Jeff Bugg identified a man who matched the physical description but was wearing different clothes getting into a taxi at the nearby Motel 6.
Bugg followed the taxi to where it stopped at the Walgreens on Millard Farmer Industrial Boulevard and approached the suspect to question him.
The suspect, Felix-Soto, had scratches covering his arms, white earbuds still in his ears and had an 'A87' logo on his shorts.
Officials arrived to question Felix-Soto, and he cooperated and was friendly throughout the investigation.
According to Lewis, Felix-Soto made up a story for investigators at first, but he eventually realized that he was caught and admitted to the robbery.
Most of the stolen money was discovered in Felix-Soto's pockets but no firearm or weapon was found in his possession, so Felix-Soto was arrested for robbery by intimidation and transported to the county jail.
After questioning, investigators discovered that Felix-Soto had parked his vehicle at the Newnan Atlanta Fitness Express parking lot and planned on walking to and from the bank.
After the robbery, though, he ended up running into and being stopped by an impenetrable briar patch, Lewis said. Felix-Soto then rented a room at the Motel 6 (using some of the stolen money) in an attempt to wait out police, but then tried to slip through the police perimeter by using a taxi.
In the briar patch which was responsible for cutting up Felix-Soto's arms, investigators later found the black clothing he was wearing, the bag he used and some of the money he stole.
The bank teller described Felix-Soto to investigators as being very quiet and polite. As the teller was filling up the bag, he even stopped the teller and said that was enough.
Because this was a robbery by intimidation, Felix-Soto faces felony charges with a maximum sentence of 20 years, Lewis said.
Except for the money used to rent to room at the Motel 6, all the stolen money was returned to the bank.