FLORENCE — A Listerhill Credit Union employee's actions Monday may have prevented a robbery at the business, authorities said.
Police apprehended a man at the credit union's 301 W. College St. location after the teller set off a holdup alarm that alerted them that something was occurring, Florence police Capt. Brad Holmes said.
Police said Keenan Randle, 21, of Florence, was arrested and charged with first-degree robbery. He had a note in his possession that demanded money.
Holmes said the call came at approximately 12:25 p.m., after several similar calls from banks earlier that day with the suspect either locked out, or entering the bank and leaving without contacting employees.
"Over the course of several hours, we responded to multiple bank suspicious-person calls," he said.
Holmes said Randle was in line at the bank when the teller noticed him. He was wearing all-black clothing, a fake Santa Claus-type beard, and had either a doo rag or shirt for a mask, Holmes said.
He said the man did not have a weapon.
"We're entirely thankful for the employees identifying there was something suspicious and pointing it out," he said. "This could have escalated, but their actions stopped what could have been a dangerous situation."
Holmes said the incident shows the importance of the notion of "see something, say something."
"If you see something suspicious, call us," he said. "I'd rather officers respond and it be nothing than not respond and it turns into a very dangerous and tragic situation."
Chris Anderson, marketing director for Listerhill, said the bank closed for the remainder of the day.
"That's mostly for the well being of our staff," Anderson said.
He said the bank has training sessions on a regular basis for such a situation. He commended the teller and all employees at the branch for their actions. He said the most important thing is that nobody was harmed.
"They were able to stall him until police arrived," Anderson said. "We are extremely grateful to the branch staff for acting quickly and properly, and to the law enforcement officers for taking such quick action. The safety of our members and staff is most important to us."