Wynne Bank Robbery Suspects Arrested in Pacific Northwest

MARCH 26, 2005 - Posted at 11:53 a.m. CST

GOLD BEACH, OR - A routine traffic stop for following too close led to the capture of a 20-year-old Region 8 woman and a 17-year-old Kentucky male sought by the FBI and northeast Arkansas authorities for the march 11 heist of the Wynne branch of Regions Bank.

Friday afternoon at approximately 2 p.m., an Oregon State Police sergeant stopped a Jeep Cherokee on Highway 101, about nine miles north of the Oregon-California border for following too close.  According to a police report, both suspects appeared to be nervous and hesitant when answering questions.  The male driver failed to possess a driver's license and provided false ID information.

A check of the vehicle's status discovered it to be stolen out of Kentucky.  Both the driver and female passenger were then taken into custody.  Additional investigation revealed both suspects to be wanted in Arkansas for the bank heist in Wynne, where both Nathan Besehears of Bowling Green, Kentucky and Felicia Balentine of Wynne, allegedly entered the bank before business hours and took a large amount of cash.  Balentine had been employed at the bank at the time.

Oregon authorities say a search of the vehicle turned up nearly $128,000 in cash, approximately one pound of marijuana, and other evidence related to the investigation in Wynne.

Beshears and Balentine were booked into the Curry County, Oregon jail on charges of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, felony possession of a controlled substance, and being fugitives from justice.  Additional charges will likely be filed in Arkansas.