Man sought in 5th bank robbery


MOUNT PLEASANT — Police think a suspect in a string of bank robberies returned to the Lowcountry to strike again Tuesday, this time at the Bank of South Carolina on Chuck Dawley Boulevard.

"It's kind of scary to have them come back," Mount Pleasant police Sgt. Steve Meadows said. "It takes a lot of gumption."

Authorities have issued warrants for Jeffrey Patrick Frye in connection with Tuesday's robbery, during which a man in khaki pants and a green hooded sweatshirt walked up to the teller about 1 p.m. and handed her a note demanding money, Meadows said.

Frye, 44, of Hanahan also is a suspect in four other robberies in North Charleston, Spartanburg and the Columbia area. The FBI is investigating.

As in the North Charleston robbery, no weapon was shown Tuesday, and the robber made no effort to disguise himself.

The crimes began on Christmas Eve, about two weeks after Frye's roommate filed a police report and accused him of stealing her diamond ring and bicycle and then disappearing. Frye sent an e-mail to the roommate's brother and in it wrote that he pawned the ring and would rob a bank, if he had to, to get the money back to her, Hanahan police said.

North Charleston police identified Frye as a suspect in the Dec. 24 robbery of the First Citizens Bank on University Boulevard and said he might be driving a red Volkswagon stolen from Mount Pleasant. The car was later found wrecked and abandoned in the Columbia area, where two more banks were robbed.

"We want to catch him before someone gets hurt," Meadows said.

He said that in Mount Pleasant, Frye faces charges of robbery of a bank and strong arm robbery.