Robber leaves suspected bomb

A security camera image shows a man robbing the BB&T bank on North Main Street in Summerville. The Monday robbery was the 11th to occur this month in the Lowcountry.

A man walked into the Summerville BB&T at noon Monday, robbed it and threatened that he left a bomb, authorities said.

Over the next 2 1/2 hours, members of the Summerville Police Department, State Law Enforcement Division, FBI and the Charleston County Sheriff's Office Bomb Squad rushed to 904 North Main Street. They evacuated the bank's staff -- all of whom were safe -- to a car dealership next door.

Rick Moore, owner of Engelberg's Furniture down the road from the bank, could only watch from his store as officers went to work. No bomb was there. But traffic was shut down for two blocks on either side of the bank, which included the portion of North Main Street just in front of his business.

The robbery was just another in a string of 11 that occurred this month in the Lowcountry. Five occurred last week, and at least 22 robberies have occurred this year. While some arrests have been made, other suspects remain at large.

Kevin Tony Smith, a 47-year-old homeless man from New York, already was being held at Charleston County Detention Center in six of the previous robberies. He was charged Monday with two additional counts of bank robbery -- one robbery that occurred on March 19 at Wachovia Bank at 828 Orleans Road and the other on March 22 at Harbor National Bank at 1503 Old Towne Road.

Two other suspects, also being held at the center on other robbery charges, were issued warrants Monday: Kerwyn Ian Fye, 38, of Charleston was charged with two counts of robbery for the incidents on March 19 and 22. Shakema Claudette McClellan, 26 of North Charleston was charged in the March 19 robbery.

The suspect from Monday's robbery fled the scene and has not been captured, although police released images of the man taken from the bank's security camera.

The suspect was described as a white male approximately 5-foot-7, between the ages of 25 and 30.

Also on Monday, a man nicknamed "The Limping Bandit" pleaded guilty in federal court in Charleston to robbing 23 banks throughout the Southeast, including in Charleston, Mount Pleasant and Summerville. Cecil Stephen Haire, 52, of Douglas, Ga., will face sentencing at a later date on the charges. He was given the moniker after tellers noticed that he walked with a discernible limp.