Calif. bank robbed; device strapped to manager
Thursday, September 6, 2012
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Two masked gunmen kidnapped a bank manager, strapped what they said was a bomb to her midsection and forced her to order employees to “take out all the money” from her Bank of America branch when it opened Wednesday morning, authorities said.
The bank robbers got away with an undisclosed amount of cash, but no one was injured in the heist. A Los Angeles County sheriff’s bomb squad disabled the device, but investigators said it wasn’t an explosive.
No arrests have been made.
The robbery occurred shortly after 8:30 a.m. after the woman, a bank manager, had been held against her will since Tuesday night, she told authorities. The bank manager arrived at her workplace wearing a device placed on her stomach by the men, authorities said.
“She was told that it was explosives and she was ordered to go into the bank and take out all the money,” said sheriff’s Capt. Mike Parker. “She did do that in fear for her life.”
The women then ordered her fellow employees to remove the cash from the bank and it was thrown to the men who were waiting outside, authorities said. Parker would only say there was “a decent amount” of money at the bank and the manager did enter the safe.
The two men, who were armed with handguns and wore ski masks, took off in a two-door car, possibly a Kia, and remain at large.
Parker said the woman remained inside the bank until a bomb squad arrived and removed the device from her body. The bomb squad later disabled the item with a robot. Nearby businesses were evacuated for a few hours as a precaution.
It’s unclear if the woman knew the robbers. Investigators are trying to determine if there were any video surveillance cameras that captured the incident.
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