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Kidnapped bank manager's home searched for clues in bomb robbery

September 6, 2012 | 12:37 pm

Investigators on Thursday searched the Huntington Park home of an East L.A. bank manager who told authorities she was kidnapped from the location, strapped to what she believed to be explosives and forced to rob her own bank, sources said.

Seeking clues to solve Wednesday's bizarre heist at a Bank of America branch in East L.A. that netted the robbers a significant amount of money, investigators removed several boxes from the home, according to the sources, who were granted anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.

The bank manager had given her consent to the search, the sources said.

She told investigators she was kidnapped from her home Wednesday morning as she went to get in her car about 7:30 a.m.

She said she was confronted by two robbers and forced to wear what she believed was a bomb strapped to her chest. She was ordered to drive to the bank, where she subsequently removed a significant amount of cash from the vault and tossed it in a bag outside the branch's back door.

PHOTOS: Bank manager forced to wear bomb

The robbers were wearing masks, and there has been little description provided. One of them was armed with a gun, the bank manager told investigators. The suspects remained on the loose Thursday.

Law enforcement sources are scouring potential surveillance video from the area between the bank manager's home and the branch on Atlantic Boulevard.

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.

The device was later removed from her body inside the bank by a sheriff's bomb squad technician. The device was detonated at the curb outside of the bank and later was determined to be inert, authorities said.

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-- Richard Winton

 

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