Everyone says Steve Bruce is a nice guy - not the kind of guy who would threaten people for money.
Steven Dean Bruce, 43, apparently did just that at 4 p.m. Wednesday, March 12 when he walked into Wachovia Bank on Amalajack Boulevard in Coweta County.
"I have planted an explosive device on this building. I want $70,000 in cash in $20 and $50 bills only. No marked. No dye bombs or anything else," read the note Bruce handed the bank manager.
There was no bomb and Bruce proved to be unarmed. He was arrested just 30 minutes after he entered the bank.
A member of Bruce's family spoke with The Times, saying, "He is a really nice guy. He is quiet and would give you the shirt off his back. Everyone is in total shock over what happened. He had never been in trouble before. He was a hard worker. He would give anyone anything they needed."
According to Investigator Beth Suber of the Coweta Sheriff's Department, Bruce entered the bank wearing a white hat and sunglasses and asked a teller if he could speak to the manager. The teller got the manager and introduced Bruce to her, and the two went into the manager's office. Once seated, Bruce handed the manger the note.
He claimed to have a gun and said he could activate the bomb using his cell phone.
The manager said she needed to leave the office to work on getting the money. She walked out of the office and told a teller to hit the alarm.
Suber said the bank manager put money and a 'dye bomb' into a bag to be given to Bruce.
"As the manager attempts to give the money bag to Bruce, he hears sirens," said Suber. "At this time, he said he knows he has been caught - and announced he knew so."
The sirens he heard were from the massive response by the Coweta County Sheriff's Office, Newnan Police Department, Georgia State Patrol, Georgia Department of Corrections Fugitive Squad and FBI.
Bruce told those in the bank they could leave the building. He assured them he wasn't going to harm anyone.
"At this time a hostage negotiator calls Bruce and got him to surrender, and he walked out of the bank without incident," said Suber. "He was being very cooperative."
As Bruce walked out, machine guns, sniper rifles, shotguns and pistols were trained on him.
Bruce remains in the custody of the Coweta County Sheriff's Department.
"He said he asked for $70,000 because it was a even, round number and it would pay off his debt and then some," said Suber. "He stated that he robbed the bank to avoid bankruptcy."