SAN DIEGO - The man who police nicknamed the "Sorry Bandit" after they say he apologized to clerks that he robbed faced a judge on Wednesday.
Ryan Morris limped into court Wednesday afternoon where he was charged with eight counts of armed robbery. Police say Morris was caught on surveillance video at a convenience store pretending to buy something, but when he got to the register, officers say he showed a gun and demanded money.
"I just really wish he would have asked me if he needed the money that desperately," said friend Debra Eggman-Steffen.
She told 10News that Morris's father had just died two weeks earlier and that he was between jobs and struggling financially.
In the surveillance video obtained by 10News, the robber is heard telling the clerk he needed the cash and then apologizing.
"He went in with a loaded 380 semi-automatic handgun, told the clerk he was sorry, having tough times but he still robbed them and terrorized them," said Deputy District Attorney Jim Koerber.
A 10News crew was there when police arrested Morris two days after they say he robbed eight convenience stores near Interstate 15 and state Route 163.
Eggman-Steffen says she saw the surveillance video but did not think the man captured on camera was someone she knew.
"That was a real shock to me," she said. "I just didn't expect it. He just didn't seem like the type of person to ever do anything like that."
If convicted, Morris faces up to 45 years in prison.