WEST ASHLEY SC (WCSC) - Officials with the Charleston Police Department say a 44-year-old man who was released last year for a bank robbery has been arrested for another in West Ashley.
The US Marshals Task Force arrested Sylvester Scott of North Charleston on Friday and charged him with armed robbery and possession of a weapon during a violent crime for a bank robbery that happened on Wednesday at the First Palmetto Savings Bank on 5 Sumar Street.
According to Charleston police, Scott was released from prison in January of 2014 after serving a sentence for a bank robbery in 2009.
Police Chief Greg Mullen said Scott has had 40 convictions dating back to 1988, and has a pending case for trafficking heroin.
Mullen said Scott was out on a $275,00 bond when he armed himself with a gun and robbed the bank.
"This just goes to the same old discussion we continually have about repeat offenders who continue to victimize our community," Mullen said during a press conference on Friday."It's very frustrating for these detectives to go out and do the type of work they do...and then continually have to deal with the same people over and over again."
Mullen said that the investigation into the Wednesday armed robbery was not over, and referenced armed robberies in February and March of 2014 that "have similar characteristics" of the First Palmetto Savings Bank armed robbery.
"Here's a career criminal that we continue to deal with and for some reason we can't seem to keep him in jail where he cannot victimize the members of this community," Mullen said."This is another example of a problem we have as law enforcement and the community in terms of repeat criminals."
Mullen cited differences in state and federal sentencing, specifically a "reluctance" on the state level to have minimum mandatory sentences, which contributed to the problem of having to deal with repeat offenders.
"One of the reasons I believe is that there is a hesitancy to utilize mandatory sentences in the state justice system," Mullen said.