On March 1, 2013, a man wearing a dark-colored hooded sweatshirt, a black ski mask, brown gloves and carrying a small dark revolver entered the Hot Springs Bank & Trust in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
He pointed the firearm at a customer, ordering the customer to the floor. He then announced the hold up, demanded money, pointed his weapon at the branch manager, and produced a paper bag demanding the money to be placed in it.
Once money had been put in the bag, the robber grabbed it and ran out of the bank. As 911 was called, employees of the bank watched the robber drive away in a vehicle that had been reported stolen from a nearby location the previous day. The loss to the bank was more than $11,000.
Staying at a Super 8 motel
A week later, officers with the Garland County Sheriff’s Office established surveillance on the Super 8 motel in Hot Springs where they believed the robber was staying.
Officers were able to confirm the room he was staying in, locate the car he was driving, and determine that he was armed with at least three weapons.
While investigators were attempting to isolate the robber in the motel, he emerged from a back door and fled on foot with officers in pursuit. He then carjacked a motor vehicle at gunpoint and took possession of the victim’s truck to continue his flight.
According to the victim, the suspect waved a pistol, put it next to his side and demanded the keys. While fleeing from the officers at a high rate of speed, the robber struck at least three other vehicles before wrecking the stolen truck and running into nearby woods.
While officers were attempting to establish a perimeter around the wooded area, the robber ran into an adjacent apartment complex where he broke into an apartment by kicking open the back door.
Refused commands to surrender
The Garland County SWAT team and Hot Springs Police Department officers isolated him in the apartment and after he refused commands to surrender, deployed gas to drive him out, and ultimately took him into custody.
At the scene, officers recovered a loaded .38 revolver used during the carjacking. It matched the description of the firearm used in the bank robbery.
In addition, officers obtained a search warrant for the suspect’s motel room, in which they recovered a black hooded shirt, black neoprene ski mask, dark-colored gloves that matched the clothing worn during the robbery, three other loaded pistols, and an assortment of ammunition.
Derrick Estell, 35, of Hot Springs, pleaded guilty to charges in connection with the bank robbery and the carjacking. He was sentenced to a total of 32 years in prison. He was also sentenced to five years of supervised release on each count to run concurrent and was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $12,478.