2 banks robbed within an hour

North Charleston police investigate a bank robbery Monday afternoon at the First Citizens Bank at the corner of Cherokee and Rivers avenues. That robbery, along with one that occurred about an hour later at a Mount Pleasant bank, makes seven robberies in

A North Charleston and a Mount Pleasant bank were robbed within about an hour of each other Monday, raising to seven the number of area bank robberies so far this month.

North Charleston police arrested Kevin Smith in the robbery Monday of First Citizens Bank at 3356 Rivers Ave., Capt. Scott Decker said. Smith is charged with entering a bank with intent to steal, he said.

Decker said Smith was arrested at a hotel on Ashley Phosphate Road. Police found him after canvassing the area after the robbery. Smith also is suspected in a Friday robbery of Wachovia Bank in Gaslight Square.

Police don't know much about Smith so far, including his age and residence. Investigators suspect he's a transient and has not been in the area long.

"We're still trying to determine where he is from and what he is doing other than robbing banks," Decker said.

First Citizens was robbed about 2:30 p.m. Monday when a man walked in and presented a note to the teller demanding money, said Spencer Pryor, public information officer for the North Charleston Police Department.

The teller complied with the demand and the suspect fled the bank on foot. North Charleston police investigators described the robber as being between 25 and 35 years old.

In both the Monday and Friday robberies, the suspect wore a gray shirt, blue jeans and a New York Yankees baseball cap. North Charleston investigators are working with local agencies to determine if the same suspect is responsible for other bank robberies, Pryor said.

Monday's robbery brings the total of North Charleston banks robbed in June to four. Three Mount Pleasant banks have been robbed this month, including one at 3:38 p.m. Monday.

In that case, a suspect ran into the RBC Bank at 1021 eWall St., jumped the counter and took an unspecified amount of cash, said Capt. Stan Gragg of the Mount Pleasant Police Department. The suspect then fled the bank in an unknown direction, Gragg stated.

The male suspect wore a red knit cap, a blue bandanna over his lower face, blue jeans, a red long-sleeved shirt and Timberland boots, Gragg stated. He was between 5 feet, 6 inches and 5 feet, 7 inches tall.

Other bank robberies this month occurred:

--June 7, at the Heritage Trust Federal Credit Union, Mount Pleasant

--June 9, Heritage Trust Federal Credit Union, North Charleston

--June 10, First Federal, North Charleston

--June 17, First Federal, Mount Pleasant

--June 18, Wachovia, North Charleston

Mount Pleasant police made an arrest in the June 17 robbery. No suspects have been arrested in the June 7, 9 and 10 robberies, and Monday's robbery in Mount Pleasant.

Reach Diane Knich at 937-5491 or dknich@postandcourier.com.