'Bag man' robs Sea Pines bank, still at large

bheffernan@islandpacket.comJune 27, 2013 

A man wearing a bag over his head who claimed to have an explosive device robbed the First Federal Bank in Sea Pines just after noon Thursday.

There were no customers in the bank at the time and none of the employees were injured, according to a Beaufort County Sheriff's Office news release. No explosives were found, Sheriff P.J. Tanner said Thursday night.

The robber remains at large. He is considered armed and dangerous, the release said.

The suspect walked into the bank on Lighthouse Road and demanded cash, the release said. He left after a teller gave him an undisclosed amount of money.

Deputies, alerted by a 911 call from the branch manager, ended the search for the suspect shortly after 2 p.m.

He was described as white man with gray hair in his early 60s. He is about 6 feet tall and weighs 200 pounds. He was wearing a blue shirt and khaki shorts.

He was also carrying a a small tote bag.

That's what jogged Jeff Gould's memory when he was talking to a detective shortly after the robbery.

Gould was sitting in his business, Sea Pines Liquor and Market, in Sea Pines Center when he saw a man matching the suspect's description walk briskly by his storefront around the time of the robbery.

"People on vacation walk like this," said Gould, who demonstrated by swaying his arms and sauntering slowly through his store.

By comparison, "he was running," he said.

Gould watched the man take a right turn past Dan the Moonshine Man, a mannequin that sits outside the store, and head toward a rear parking lot.

Incoming and outgoing traffic from Sea Pines at both the Greenwood and Ocean gates was temporarily slowed and monitored as police searched for the suspect.

Check back with The Island Packet and The Beaufort Gazette for more details as they become available. Follow reporter Brian Heffernan at twitter.com/IPBG_Brian.

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