Bank of America robbers avoided security cameras during bomb heist
Two suspected robbers at an East Los Angeles Bank of America, who kidnapped the bank manager and strapped her with apparent explosives, avoided being seen on bank security cameras, authorities said.
The men stole a significant amount of cash from the bank Wednesday morning. FBI and Los Angeles County sheriff's officials said the woman was told to get money from the bank vault, then toss it in a bag out the back door of the bank.
The men were beyond the range of the cameras, officials said.
The suspected robbers also were wearing masks, and there has been little description provided. They remain on the loose.
Law enforcement sources are scouring potential surveillance video from the area between the bank manager's home in Huntington Park, where she said she was kidnapped Wednesday morning as she opened her garage, and the branch on Atlantic Boulevard in East Los Angeles.
The heist was considered very unusual because of the nature of the robbery. Bank managers are rarely kidnapped, experts said. Even rarer is the use of an explosive device.
In this case, the men strapped what appeared to be a pipe bomb to the woman's chest and ordered her to rob her own bank.
The device later was removed from her body by a sheriff's bomb squad technician inside the bank. It was detonated outside on the street and later determined to be inert, authorities said.
-- Richard Winton