2 arrested in Fernandina Beach bank robbery

Deputies searching cars leaving island find suspect

Published On: Mar 11 2013 01:56:24 PM EDT   Updated On: Mar 04 2013 09:04:28 PM EST
Chance Bennett and Mandy Hagen
FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. -

A man and a woman were arrested in connection with an armed bank robbery Monday afternoon in Fernandina Beach.

Police said 22-year-old Chance Bennett went into a SunTrust Bank in the 5200 block of South Fletcher Avenue about 1:25 p.m. wearing a purple mask. They said he appeared suspicious and was approached by a bank employee, then fled the bank and was last seen leaving the area on foot.

Police said Bennett then robbed First Coast Community Bank in the 1700 block of South 14th Street about 2 p.m.

They said officers responded less than a minute after the alarm sounded and began gathering suspect information, disseminating a general description to responding officers in the area.

Police said Bennett fled the bank with an undisclosed amount of cash. No one was injured.

Investigators said that believing Bennett was trying to flee the island via the Shave Bridge, Nassau County deputies and Fernandina Beach police elected to stop all westbound traffic and conduct a visual search for the suspect. At 2:25 p.m., they found and arrested Bennett, police said.

They said he was found hiding in the back of a minivan driven by Mandy Hagen, 33. Both are facing charges of armed bank robbery.