A former Douglas County School District music teacher was recently photographed wearing a beekeeper mask, authorities say, but it wasn’t because of a new job.
The FBI says Christian Paetsch, 45, wore the disguise during a bank robbery in Aurora on June 2. The case gained widespread attention because authorities, using a new GPS device to pinpoint the location of suspects, tracked Paetsch to the intersection of Buckley and Chambers roads and sealed the area off. Aurora police temporarily detained dozens of drivers before finding Paetsch, who allegedly had the beekeeper mask, a gun and stolen money in the vehicle.
A Douglas County School District spokesman confirmed that Paetsch was employed as an elementary music teacher from 2005 through early 2012, but did not give a reason for his departure or identify the school at which he taught.
Paetsch played violin with the Parker Symphony Orchestra and was also a part of Inspire Creative, a local theater group. Its website said he is a Colorado native who has been studying music for the majority of his life. He has played in many of the orchestras since a very young age, the site said.
It’s a far cry from what authorities say happened the afternoon of June 2. Paetsch allegedly walked into the bank and pointed a weapon at several employees, demanding money. He was charged with one count of armed bank robbery and one count of using or brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, the FBI said.
Paetsch faces up to 25 years in prison on the bank robbery charge alone. He is being held without bond and appeared in court June 7 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kristen L. Mix for a detention hearing and a preliminary hearing.
Officials will not authorize the release of his mug shot.
An Aurora Police Department spokesperson did not return a phone call seeking comment on Paetsch’s arrest.