FOLLY BEACH, SC (WCSC) - A judge set bond Saturday morning for the two men arrested in connection with the armed robbery of a Folly Beach store.
The judge set 19-year-old Maurice Hardiman's bond at $60,000 and 18-year-old Kametrious Arnold's bond at $50,000. The judge also ordered the two to have no contact with the victim in the robbery and ordered that they not return to the store.
Both of the James Island men are charged with armed robbery, according to jail records.
Officials with the Folly Beach Public Safety Department announced the arrests on the department Facebook page in connection with the Friday morning robbery at Bert's Market on East Ashley and 2nd Avenue.
Authorities say they made the arrests after making use of a license plate reader, store video footage and face-to-face interviews which provided concrete leads.
Police say more details are expected to be released.
"We're going to be on the watch now," said Jeremy Walter, of Folly Beach. "It's like a neighborhood watch type of community. Everyone is going to rally together and we're going to be on the lookout for shady people coming around Bert's."
At approximately 5:40 a.m. authorities responded to Bert's Market for a reported armed robbery with a gunshot fired in the building, according to Folly Beach Public Safety Department spokesman Alan Kleinfeld.
The shot was fired into the ceiling of Bert's Market. One employee was there at the time of the incident but was not injured. The employee told police the men entered the store wearing bags as masks.
"It's terrible," said Vini Youngblood, of Folly Beach, who goes to Bert's often. "This has never happened here that I know of. I've lived here for 17 years."
"This is an unusual event for Folly," Kleinfeld said. "We do have crime here and some gun related stuff, but an armed robbery, especially at something as well known as Bert's, is a little unusual."
Kleinfeld said the last time an armed robbery happened on Folly was in 2015, and it was somewhere other than Bert's.
With the popularity of the store, Islanders question why they would target Bert's of all places.
"They treat everyone like family who comes in here," Walter said. "That's just pathetic whoever it was
"I was stunned," said Jake Hilzley, who works at Bert's. "I was immediately worried about [the employee], who I knew was working tonight. She was holding my shoes for me that I left. So I rushed over here as soon as I could."
The spokesman said a witness told authorities he noticed a Kia SUV speeding off the island as he headed to work on Folly Beach.
Kleinfeld said police were able to identify the fleeing vehicle by reviewing license plate camera footage, which resulted in "some solid leads".
"I think it was somebody from out of town," Youngblood said. "I think somebody came here, saw the convenience of one person working by herself, and didn't see anything that would stop them from doing it."
A BOLO, or "be on the lookout" advisory, was sent out across Charleston County for the vehicle and suspects, who they considered to be armed and dangerous.
According to Bert's Market's Facebook page, the store planned to reopen at 10 a.m. after authorities cleared the scene.
Kleinfeld called Bert's a Folly Beach landmark. The store, which operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, opened in 1993, he said.