Alleged bank robber arrested after holdup in Eureka Springs

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

A 19-year-old Berryville man was arrested Oct. 14 in connection with the robbery earlier that day of a First National Bank branch in Eureka Springs. The robbery was selected at the No. 10 local news story of 2016 by the editorial staff of Carroll County News.

According to the jail intake log from the Carroll County Detention Center, Hunter Cody Chafin was charged with aggravated robbery and failure to pay on Oct. 14. Chafin allegedly took $3,350 during the robbery. No one was injured.

A press release from the Eureka Springs Police Department said officers responded to call of an armed robbery in progress at the First National Bank of North Arkansas at approximately 1:57 p.m. Friday, Oct. 14. The Eureka Springs branch is located at 23 Greenwood Hollow Road.

An affidavit prepared by ESPD Detective Paul Sebby described what happened when officers arrived on the scene, saying Sebby and another officer interviewed Kindred Marnoff, a teller at the bank. Marnoff filled out a statement saying a black car dropped off the suspect, and the suspect asked if his accounts were open before going outside to wait on a taxi.

"When [the] taxi arrived, he came back in...would not make eye contact and was nervous," Marnoff's statement says. "[He] handed me an envelope with a note stating '50s and 100s only ... no trouble, I have a gun.' I handed him the 50s and 100s he asked for."

Marnoff said the suspect took the money and left in a taxi. Marnoff confirmed the suspect was Chafin, saying Chafin provided his name while inquiring about his accounts.

From there, the affidavit says, an officer contacted the taxi service the suspect used. Using a GPS tracker, the affidavit says, officers learned the vehicle was in Bentonville. The affidavit says taxi driver Joanna Buck reported dropping the suspect off at in the 2900 block of Red Haven in Bentonville, where the suspect said he wanted to purchase a bike.

During the drive, Buck said, the suspect told her his name was Hunter Chafin and said he wanted to purchase a bike because he recently wrecked his vehicle.

According to a press release from the Eureka Springs Police Department, Bentonville officers located and arrested Chafin at 3:41 p.m. The release said Eureka Springs officers took custody of Chafin from the Bentonville Police Department.

The affidavit says Eureka Springs officers found two sleeves of cash totaling $3,100, a white and yellow band reading '$1,000,' an Arkansas bill of sale saying Chafin bought a motorcycle for $2,900 and a note stating '$50s & $100s Only! NO Trouble I have a gun.'

When Chafin was questioned, the affidavit says, he said he had been planning the robbery for a week or so. After arriving in Bentonville, Chafin said an officer in uniform showed up. Chafin said he paid the officer $2,900 for a motorcycle and wrote up the paperwork, bill of sale and title. He left the residence on the bike, Chafin said, and noticed the same officer driving beside him. Chafin waved, the affidavit says, before being pulled over and placed into custody.

Eureka Springs police chief Thomas Achord said Oct. 17 that that this is the first armed robbery in Eureka Springs in years.

Chafin had his initial court appearance Oct. 17, where a judge found there was sufficient probable cause to charge Chapin with aggravated robbery. On Oct. 26, Chafin's attorney filed a motion requesting a mental examination for Chafin. The motion says Chafin is charged with one count of bank robbery and had his initial court appearance on Oct. 20.

The motion says Chafin's counsel is asking for the court to order a psychiatric/psychological examination for Chafin. The motion asks for the person who examines Chafin to prepare a report that will be filed in the court, with copies provided to the defense and prosecution.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: