Police used DNA evidence to arrest a Skowhegan man Thursday morning on felony charges for his alleged role in the January holdup of a Skowhegan Savings Bank in Norridgewock.

Dustin L. Everett, 34, was taken into custody about 8:30 a.m. at his home on Gerald Way in Skowhegan, Somerset County Sheriff Dale Lancaster said. During the interview Thursday morning, Everett confessed to having committed the bank robbery, the sheriff said.

About 12:27 p.m. on Jan. 9, a team from the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a bank robbery at Skowhegan Savings Bank on Main Street in Norridgewock. The ensuing investigation conducted by detectives assigned to the Sheriff’s Office Criminal Division revealed that a lone male robber had entered the bank, brandished what appeared to be a semi-automatic handgun and demanded cash from the bank tellers.

At the time of the robbery, three tellers and two customers were in the bank, but no one was physically harmed. The robber stole thousands of dollars in cash, after which he left the bank on foot, traveling south on Perkins Street in the direction of Route 8, according to Lancaster.

The robber reportedly entered the bank shortly after noon wearing a red neoprene ski mask, a dark stocking cap, a dark jacket, light blue jeans and gloves. The man brandished a weapon that appeared to be a semi-automatic handgun, jumped onto the counter and demanded that the bank tellers give him money.

School officials at Mill Stream Elementary School on Mercer Road, also known as U.S. Route 2, were notified of the robbery around 1 p.m. Officials put the school on lockout, which restricts anyone from coming into or leaving the school, School Administrative District 54 Superintendent Brent Colbry said at the time.

Students were dismissed at the normal time. School officials called parents of students who normally walk home to let them know about the situation and that they might want to pick up their children instead.

A police officer was stationed at the school.

During the investigation into the bank robbery, witness statements and evidence were collected, including surveillance footage and possible clothing worn by the robber that had been discarded a short distance from the bank, Lancaster said. The clothing was submitted to the State Crime Laboratory for DNA analysis.

DNA profiles were collected from the clothing and a possible suspect was identified from a match in the Combined DNA Index System database, according to the sheriff.

The possible suspect in the case was identified as Everett.

On May 22, sheriff’s office detectives with a warrant conducted a search at Everett’s home and spoke with Everett about the robbery. Everett initially denied any involvement in the robbery when interviewed, Lancaster said. A sample of Everett’s DNA was collected at that time and sent to the crime laboratory for analysis.

Crime laboratory technicians earlier this month confirmed that Everett’s DNA matched the DNA collected on the clothing recovered near the scene of the robbery.

“The science of DNA has changed how law enforcement views and processes crime scenes,” Lancaster said. “We collect a lot more physical evidence, and the fact that we can compare samples against a nationwide database enhances law enforcement’s effectiveness.”

On Thursday, detectives executed an arrest warrant for Everett.

Everett was charged with robbery, a class A felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison. He was charged additionally with class B felony theft, which carries a separate 10-year prison term if he is convicted.

Lancaster said Everett is being held without bail at the Somerset County Jail in East Madison. Everett’s initial arraignment date is scheduled for Friday at the Somerset County Unified Court in Skowhegan.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]

Twitter:@Doug_Harlow

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