Accused bank robber Sean Saxby had a straightforward answer Wednesday when a judge asked him why he quit his job Friday.
"I had other things to do, ma'am," he told Charleston County Magistrate Linda Lombard.
"Like what?" Lombard said.
"Rob a bank," he said. "I needed the money."
Lombard set Saxby's total bail at $1 million on two counts of bank robbery for holdups Tuesday at Carolina First Bank at 852 Orleans Road and Saturday at the Bank of America at 1806 Sam Rittenberg Blvd.
The 39-year-old Walterboro man remained at the Charleston County Detention Center late Wednesday.
Those charges were brought by the Charleston County Sheriff's Office, but on Wednesday, Charleston police also hit Saxby with a charge of entering a bank with intent to steal. That case involved a robbery Saturday at the Wachovia Bank at 1305 Sam Rittenberg Blvd. where a man wearing a white T-shirt and baggy pants handed the teller a note demanding money. He never brandished a gun but implied he was armed. The suspect was handed an undisclosed amount of money.
The Sheriff's Office said that in the holdups at Carolina First and Bank of America, the robber handed a teller a note that said, "I have a gun, give me all the money and no one gets hurt," according to an affidavit.
A concerned citizen told investigators Saturday that the person shown in a video from a previous bank robbery appeared to be Saxby and that he drove an older green Ford Explorer.
On Tuesday, witnesses to the Carolina First Bank robbery told deputies and Charleston police officers that they saw the suspect drive away in a green Explorer with temporary tags. A short time later, sheriff's deputies stopped a vehicle matching that description on U.S. Highway 17 heading south near Ravenel.
Deputies said Saxby's clothing fit the description given for both robberies. He had red stains on his clothes from an exploding dye pack that a Carolina First Bank teller included in the money he handed the robber. Saxby had no gun and surrendered without incident.
Saxby signed a written statement admitting to sheriff's investigators that he robbed the Carolina First Bank and the Bank of America, an affidavit said.
A Bank of America teller told investigators that when the robber handed her a threatening note, she told him that she did not have any money, and that she would have to get it from the back. As the teller moved away from him, the robber told her "no" and left the bank, an affidavit said.
A Carolina First Bank teller told authorities that when the robber handed him a threatening note, he gave Saxby about $5,698 in cash and an exploding dye pack. The pack blew up as the robber crossed the street, causing him to drop the bag of money covered in red dye.
Tuesday's robbery marked the 13th time a Lowcountry bank has been held up in June, which is more than half of the 24 bank robberies all year.
Saxby is a possible suspect in a similar robbery that happened at a St. George bank on Friday, investigators have said.
Saxby does not have a criminal history in South Carolina, according to a State Law Enforcement Division criminal history check. He told Lombard that he lived with his mother.