MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Myrtle Beach police are investigating a Tuesday morning armed robbery at First Citizens Bank at 7500 North Kings Hwy, according to a Facebook post from the Myrtle Beach Police Department.
The suspect entered the bank armed with a weapon and demanded money before fleeing the scene on foot, police say. Surveillance photos showed the suspect point a gun at employees before getting away with cash and leaving behind fear in those who live nearby.
"I had a neighbor call me and ask what was going on at the end of my street," resident Roy Bullard said. "I looked out the window and saw all the police cars so I figured the bank had been robbed."
The perimeter was surrounded and crime scene tape wrapped the entrance. Streets were blocked off hundreds of yards away down 75th Avenue North.
"I don't think I've ever seen so many police," Bullard said. "Forever, people have thought this area of the beach was so much safer, so it's kind of scary to know that a bank that close to where I live is robbed."
Bullard isn't alone. Mackenzie Bolt works in a restaurant nearby and she's concerned for her safety too, especially after Lombardo's Restaurant was robbed in November, which stands just 800 feet away from the bank.
"If it was easy for them to rob a bank in the daytime, it's not going to be hard for them to go to a restaurant at night," Bolt, a former New Jersey resident, said. "Lombardo's was robbed about a month and a half, two months ago I think, and now this place right in front of where I work. It's a little scary."
Bullard is concerned going forward.
"I just think Myrtle Beach has changed in the past 30 years," he said. "It's not the safe place it was when I moved here."
The suspect is described as a black male, 6 feet 5 inches tall, last seen wearing a gray sweatshirt, hoodie and work-style boots.
If you have any information regarding this incident, call the Myrtle Beach Police Department dispatch line at 843-918-1382. Callers can remain anonymous.