Crime & Courts

Forest Acres bank robbery suspects indicted in $83,000 Connecticut heist, Feds say

Samuel Neathery and Daisy Feliberty got away with $83,000 in a Connecticut bank robbery before police busted them in connection with a Forest Acres heist, federal authorities said Thursday.

The duo were on the run with the stolen money following a December 27 hold-up at People’s United Bank in Wethersfield, Connecticut, the U.S. Attorney’s office said.

In February, police arrested Neathery and Feliberty after an armed robbery and get-away attempt at the South Carolina Federal Credit Union on Forest Drive. At a March court hearing for Neathery, 5th Circuit Deputy Solicitor Dan Goldberg said police found money from the Connecticut bank job inside the duo’s get-away car after the Forest Acres robbery.

The two violently stuck up the Connecticut bank, intimidating employees and forcing them to hand over the money, court documents said. The U.S. Attorney’s Office of Connecticut, FBI agents, and local authorities worked together on the investigation.

On Wednesday, a federal grand jury indicted Neathery and Feliberty in the People’s United Bank case, charging them with armed bank robbery and other gun charges. The federal charges could land them in prison for 32 years.

Neathery and Feliberty allegedly robbed the Forest Drive credit union on Feb. 5th, forcing an employee into a safe and demanding money, authorities said. When the amount of cash wasn’t satisfactory, they said they knew more money was around because they had done this before, according to Goldberg.

Police arrived when the team tried to make a run. An officer shot at Feliberty while she was behind the wheel, hitting her as she tried to speed out of the parking lot. A five vehicle collision piled up on the congested street.

Neathery ran back into the credit union, leading police to believe he held hostages, police reported. He escaped out the back of the business, prompting a two-day search of the area with tips coming from as far as Charleston before police said they no longer thought he was in South Carolina.

Neathery made it back to his native state of Florida. After nearly two weeks on the lam, the U.S. Marshal’s Florida-Caribbean Regional Fugitive Task Force arrested Neathery on Feb. 23 in Kissimmee, Fla. outside a motel with drugs and a gun inside, Goldberg said.

At his bond hearing, Neathery told the judge he didn’t know he had a warrant in South Carolina, so he never fled any crime. He said no evidence shows he committed a crime.

Neathery and Feliberty served prison time in Florida.

In May 2008, authorities in Polk County charged Neathery with armed robbery, according to Florida Department of Corrections records. In 2009, he was convicted of the felony and sent to jail for 10 years. Neathery got out of Florida state prison in May 2018, a background check showed.

Police charged Feliberty with selling marijuana and cocaine in Osceola County in 2009, Florida Department of Corrections showed. She began a one-year sentence for the crimes in 2010, getting out of prison in May 2011.

Both await court proceedings while jailed in Richland County.

On top of the just-announced federal charges, the two face South Carolina state charges for armed robbery, kidnapping and gun crimes.

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David Travis Bland won the South Carolina Press Association’s 2017 Judson Chapman Award for community journalism. As The State’s crime, police and public safety reporter, he strives to inform communities about crimes that affect them and give deeper insight into victims, the accused and law enforcement. He studied history with a focus on the American South at the University of South Carolina.