Jeffrey Pellegrino, 45, of Ebensburg, faces a preliminary hearing Sept. 19 on charges he robbed the S&T Bank in Armagh, Indiana County, at knifepoint on Tuesday morning.
Troopers also expect to charge him in Wednesday's robbery of the First National Bank in Cresson, where police said a witness saw a license plate traced to Pellegrino's mother.
Police said that led them to question Pellegrino on Thursday, which is when they say he confessed to the first heist.
"I was desperate. I had no money for food for my kids," Pellegrino said, according to the complaint. "I thought about killing myself Monday night. I had a hose hooked up to my exhaust but I just could not do it."
Police said Pellegrino told them he picked the S&T Branch in the tiny village about 50 miles east of Pittsburgh because it was small.
"I felt so bad. The one lady was crying," Pellegrino told police. "I told her that I wouldn't hurt her. I even cried on the way home."
Pellegrino remained in the Indiana County Jail on Friday, unable to post bond on charges of robbery, aggravated assault and theft. State police, the FBI and police in Cresson continued to investigate Wednesday's robbery in neighboring Cambria County.
Online court records don't list an attorney for Pellegrino.