Bank manager OK after being strapped to bomb by alleged robbers
A manager at a Bank of America in East Los Angeles was kidnapped from her home in Huntington Park on Tuesday evening, then forced to help suspects rob her own bank with what appeared to be explosives strapped to her body, sheriff's officials said.
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Capt. Mike Parker said the two men took her to the bank Wednesday morning and told her she had to wear an explosive device. They strapped on what appeared to be a pipe bomb.
She entered the bank, where other employees were present, took the money and told her colleagues what was happening. She followed instructions to throw the money out the bank's doors, Parker said.
The sheriff's arson and explosives team arrived at the bank and removed the device from her safely, Parker said.
Helicopter TV cameras showed the woman exiting the bank unharmed. Later, a bomb-squad robot rolled onto Atlantic Avenue in front of the bank and inspected the device.
A bomb squad specialist in full protective gear took pictures of the device, then surrounded it with sand bags. The device was then detonated.
Parker said authorities are searching for two suspects. KTLA News reported that the robbers fled in a white Kia.
"This is a dynamic, ongoing situation," Parker said.
It was unclear exactly at what time the woman was kidnapped and whether she knew the suspects. Parker said they were in the process of debriefing the woman.
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— Richard Winton