A father and his two sons were arrested as the main suspects in a string of bank robberies in Colorado Springs and Monument going as far back as May, and court documents show the break in the case came from a surveillance photo posted on a social media site.
Braden Wayne Butson, 23, his brother, Nicholas Edward Butson, 20, and their father, Brock Edward Butson, 51, were arrested Sept. 5 and booked into the El Paso County jail, each held on $250,000 bonds, court records show.
Colorado Springs Police Department's Violent Crimes and Robbery Unit detectives arrested the father and sons at the TravelStar Inn on South Nevada Avenue after they received a tip when news media shared photos of the robber who hit up First Bank on Village Center Drive on Aug. 29.
According to an arrest affidavit, Braden Butson was recognized by a friend of his girlfriend of five years as she browsed through photos posted on Facebook two days after the surveillance stills were shared with the media.
The witness told police Braden Butson initially denied being the man in the images, then confessed to his involvement and added that his father was the getaway driver.
The woman told detectives Braden Butson described to his girlfriend how, along with his father and younger brother, he walked into banks and handed tellers a note with wording such as, "This is a robbery, give me all the money in your drawer. No heroics."
After the Aug. 12 robbery of the National Bank branch located on Briargate Boulevard, investigators contacted witnesses who reported seeing an older, gold sedan parked at a nearby street during the time of the robbery and a man matching Braden Butson's description driving away in the car.
According to the affidavit, a 1990 gold Lincoln Town Car is registered to Brock Butson, the same car police tracked to the Travel Star Inn, where the three men were arrested Sept. 5.
According to the affidavit, Nicholas Butson cooperated with investigators, admitted to taking part in three of the robberies and told police his older brother carried out the other robberies while their father was the getaway driver.
Braden and Brock Butson have denied their involvement in the crimes, the affidavits show.
All three were arrested on suspicion of multiple counts of robbery, police said. The men allegedly robbed Academy Bank, 2835 Briargate Blvd. four times and tried to rob it a fifth time. They are also accused of robbing American National Bank, 3755 Briargate Blvd, US Bank, 1125 W. Garden of the Gods Road, and First Bank, 817 Village Center Drive.
Anyone with information that could help with the investigation should call police at 444-7000.