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Robbers use fake explosive to rob Moreno Valley bank, police say

Approximate location of incident shown in red.

Authorities were searching Wednesday for at least two people who robbed a Chase Bank branch in Riverside County and left behind what appeared to be an explosive device.

The robbers approached and assaulted at least two bank employees from the branch in the 27000 block of Fir Avenue in Moreno Valley shortly before 9 a.m. Tuesday, authorities said.

They made their way into the bank and were given an undisclosed amount of cash. Before making their getaway, they left a device thought to be an explosive and collected all the employees' car keys.

It was not immediately known if the crime was related to a robbery at a bank in Huntington Park last Wednesday in which a fake explosive device was used. No suspects have been arrested in that case.

Two masked thieves were involved in that heist, which unfolded after they confronted a bank manager as she was leaving her Huntington Park home for work.

They strapped what they said was an explosive device to the manager's chest and instructed her to drive to her bank and give them money. The manager complied, taking a bag filled with cash to the back of the bank, where the robbers grabbed it and sped away in a car.

The bank manager was unharmed. The L.A. County Sheriff's Department bomb squad detonated the device, which law enforcement sources said did not appear to be a functional bomb.

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-- Andrew Blankstein

Image: Approximate location of incident shown in red. Credit: Google Maps

 
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