Puyallup man charged in bank robbery struggled to support family

A man suspected of robbing a Puyallup bank last week was unemployed and trying to get money to support his family, according to court records.

Charles Morgan, 34, pleaded not guilty Friday to first-degree robbery. He is being held in lieu of $200,000 bail.

A man with a hooded sweatshirt pulled over a ball cap entered a Columbia Bank branch at 4420 S. Meridian Ave. about 2:45 p.m. Tuesday and demanded cash from the teller.

He did not display a weapon.

The robber fled after a bank employee hit an alarm summoning police.

Police immediately posted surveillance pictures of the robber on social media. Within hours, tips helped police identify the suspected bank robber as Morgan and drove to his house.

“The defendant’s wife stated that they were struggling financially because the defendant was out of work,” according to charging papers. “When the Puyallup Police Department showed the defendant’s wife the video of the robbery, she covered her mouth and cried.”

Morgan had allegedly joked about robbing a bank in the past.

Police asked Morgan’s wife to call him so they could take him into custody. A wad of cash was found in his pocket when he was arrested, and bank surveillance footage shows his car leaving the bank, records show.

He expressed regret that the holdup would further complicate life for his wife and young daughter, police said.

Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653