A Massachusetts man was sentenced to 10 years in prison after admitting he left a fake bomb in a Murrells Inlet Bank he robbed “to get an adrenaline rush” in November.
Thirty-nine-year-old Joshua Santerre of Holyoke, Mass., pleaded guilty to armed robbery, entering a bank with the intent to steal and threatening the use of a destructive device, said Richard D. Todd Jr., the senior assistant solicitor, who prosecuted the 15th Circuit case.
Circuit Court Judge Kristi Harrington sentenced Santerre to a total of 10 years in prison, Todd said in a release from the 15th Circuit Solicitor’s Office Tuesday. 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, Todd said.
When Harrington asked Santerre why he robbed the bank during his hearing, Santerre told her it was “to get an adrenaline rush,” according to the release.
Police say Santerre went to the South State Bank in Murrells Inlet and wrote on a withdrawal slip, “this is a robbery” on Nov. 23. He handed it to a teller along with a cylinder-shaped item that he said was a “bomb,” Todd said.
The teller gave Santerre a stack of money and she pressed the security button, according to prosecutors. After getting the money, Santerre ran out of the building leaving the “bomb” behind with the teller.
Members of the Horry County Police Bomb Squad went into the bank and found the bomb to be a fake because it was a pipe filled with dirt, Todd said. The teller described Santerre to police and officers found 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, Todd said. A witness to the robbery drove to the scene of the arrest and positively identified Santerre as the bank robber.