DNA match leads to bank robber arrests

Antonio Aviles arrested in Indiana, returned to Florida

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Antonio Clark (left) and Antonio Aviles (right)

BUNNELL, Fla. - An Indiana man has been arrested in connection with the 2009 armed robbery of the Floridian Bank in Palm Coast.

According to authorities, the arrest was made after Flagler County Sheriff's Office investigators matched the suspect's DNA with DNA left at the scene of the crime.

Antonio Aviles, 27, of Fort Wayne, was returned to Flagler County earlier Wednesday after being arrested by Fort Wayne Police on a Flagler County warrant charging him with armed robbery with a deadly weapon, aggravated battery and grand theft over $300, deputies said.

Sheriff's Investigators said Aviles was one of the two men who barged into the bank on Boulder Rock Drive around 4 p.m. on January 16, and fired two shots into the bank's ceiling while demanding money. Investigators said Aviles struck the bank manager on the head with the gun before fleeing the scene with an undisclosed amount of cash.

The second robber, Antonio Clark, 27, of Jacksonville, was arrested July 20, 2012, on charges of grand theft and being a principle to armed robbery after he was located in the Jacksonville jail on unrelated charges.

Clark was also linked to the robbery through DNA collected at the scene.

"This is an excellent example of just how valuable DNA analysis is to our investigations," said Flagler County Sheriff James L. Manfre. "We were able to identify the robber and locate him through a central DNA data base that is available to law enforcement."

Investigator Elizabeth Conrad located Aviles with the assistance of Fort Wayne Police Department which had obtained a DNA sample from Aviles during an unrelated investigation. The DNA sample was added to a nationwide data base. Aviles was not arrested in connection with the Indiana case, but the Florida Department of Law Enforcement accessed the data base and notified Flagler County investigators of the DNA match. This new evidence led to a warrant being issued for Aviles. Investigator Conrad subsequently contacted the Indiana police agency and the warrant was served on Aviles.

Aviles is being held in the Flagler County Detention Facility with a $200,000 bond. Clark is also being held in the Flagler County Detention Facility with a $175,000.00 bond.

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