Man who robbed Murrells Inlet bank, left ‘bomb’ sentenced to 10 years in prison

GEORGETOWN, SC (WBTW) – On Tuesday, Fifteenth Circuit Solicitor Jimmy Richardson announced that a man from Massachusetts pleaded guilty to charges in a bank robbery where he left a “bomb” in a Murrells Inlet bank.

The press release from the solicitor’s office says Joshua Santerre, 39, pleaded guilty on Monday to armed robbery, entering a bank with intent to steal and threatening the use of a destructive device. Judge Kristi Harrington sentenced Santerre to 10 years in prison on each charge, with the sentences running concurrently.

Santerre must serve at least 85 percent of the sentence before he is eligible for parole because armed robbery is considered a violent, most-serious offense under South Carolina law, the press release said.

When the judge asked the suspect why he robbed the bank during his hearing, he told her he did it “to get an adrenaline rush.”

On November 23, 2016, Santerre went to the South State Bank branch in Murrells Inlet and wrote ‘this is a robbery’ on a withdrawal slip and handed it to a teller along with a cylinder-shaped item that he said was a ‘bomb.’ The teller gave Santerre a stack of money and pressed the security button, the release said.

After getting the money, Santerre ran out of the building and left the “bomb” behind with the teller. Members of the Horry County Police Bomb Squad were called to the bank and discovered the “bomb”was a pipe filled with dirt. The teller described Santerre to police, and officers located him at a nearby gas station.

Officers found the money taken from the bank inside his backpack, and the gloves and beanie cap he wore during the robbery in a trash can at the station where he changed clothing. A witness to the robbery was also able to positively identify Santerre as the bank robber.