Police have found and arrested the man they say robbed at least three area businesses while wearing an oversized fake beard.
Bentonville police said Joseph Thomas Lacefield, 50, is the fake beard bandit that made off with an undisclosed amount of money after robbing two stores in Rogers and a hair design academy in Springdale. Lacefield was booked Tuesday night on suspicion of felony robbery into the Benton County Jail, where he remains awaiting a bond hearing, according to the Benton County Sheriff’s Office.
Lacefield was arrested following an investigation into the three robberies by police in Bentonville, Rogers and Springdale. Robbery is a Class B felony punishable by five to 20 years in prison, according to Bentonville police.
The series of robberies began May 8 when police said a man wearing a large fake beard and a camouflage hooded sweatshirt committed an armed robbery of a Dollar General in Rogers on Walnut Street. Police said the fake beard bandit struck next May 13 when he robbed a Murphy USA gas station, also on Walnut Street. In both instances, the suspect made off with an undisclosed amount of money, police said.
The last reported fake beard bandit robbery occurred May 14 at the Career Academy of Hair Design in Springdale. It is unclear if the suspect collected any money out of the robbery. A victim of the robbery said a gun was never seen, but the suspect gestured like he had a firearm, according to the Springdale Police Department.
No one was injured in any of the robberies.
Lacefield’s arraignment is scheduled for June 30, according to the Sheriff’s Office.