Melvin Hartfield told police he robbed a Pierce County bank because he needed money to get back home to Kansas.
Instead, Hartfield landed in jail and was charged Tuesday with first-degree robbery. The 42-year-old pleaded not guilty and was ordered held in lieu of $500,000 bail.
Prosecutors contend Hartfield held up a Heritage bank branch June 5 by handing a teller a note saying he was robbing the bank. The teller gave him a bag of cash and he fled.
Detectives did not indicate how their investigation led to Hartfield but they found him staying at a Pierce County home and Hartfield identified himself in two surveillance photographs from the holdup, according to charging papers.
The defendant noted he was from Kansas and had hoped to get money to return there, documents note.