Chino bank robber said he had a bomb in 911 call [audio]
A ski-masked gunman who wounded a Chino police officer after a bank robbery made a 911 call before the holdup saying that he had a bomb and would detonate it, authorities said Wednesday afternoon.
But the call, made from a nearby pay phone before the crime, was a simply a diversionary tactic to delay police from responding to the Feb. 29 bank robbery, the FBI and Chino Police Department said.
On Wednesday, the FBI and police announced a reward of up to $20,000 for information leading to the arrest of the gunman.
During the call, the gunman spoke briefly with a Police Department dispatcher, according to a copy of the 911 tape.
"Is this the Chino Police Department?," the gunman asked.
"Yes, it is," the dispatcher responded.
"I have a bomb ... This is not a drill. Do you hear me. There's a bomb here."
The gunman, wearing a dark ski mask and bulletproof vest, stormed into the California Bank & Trust at 5455 Riverside Drive. He was armed with an assault rifle, similar to an AK-47, with a sling and drum magazine, authorities said.
The robber was captured on video wearing the ski mask and body armor over a dark, collared short-sleeved shirt and blue pants. He is described as a white male, 35 to 40 years old, 6-feet-2 and about 200 pounds, with blue eyes
He is believed to have fled in a charcoal gray four-door Nissan Maxima sedan with tinted windows, chrome rims and Arizona license plates.
Local law enforcement and the FBI are involved in the search for the robber. Anyone with information is asked to call the Chino Police Department at (909) 628-1234.
“Someone willing to attempt the murder of a police officer and terrorize bank employees with an assault rifle is a danger to all of us and must be caught," said Steven Martinez, assistant director in charge of the FBI in Los Angeles. "The FBI will continue to work with our partners at Chino PD to generate and cover leads in order to apprehend this suspect.”
Anyone with information is asked to call the Chino Police Department at (909) 628-1234, their nearest FBI office or dial 911.
Photos: Surveillance footage of the bank robber. Credit: Chino Police Department and FBI