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Bank of America manager not a suspect in bomb robbery, officials say

September 5, 2012 | 12:26 pm

The Bank of America manager who was kidnapped at her home, then forced to help rob her own East Los Angeles branch is not a suspect in the crime, sheriff's officials said.

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Capt. Mike Parker declined to discuss how the woman was abducted, but said authorities do not believe she is involved in the robbery plot.

The woman, who has not been identified, told authorities she was kidnapped Tuesday night at her Huntington Park home and held overnight. Wednesday morning, she drove to the bank -- or was driven there by the suspects -- and entered the bank vault, Parker said.

PHOTOS: Bank manager forced to rob own branch

She showed other employees a device that was strapped to her body, then took some cash and threw it out the back door to the two male robbers, Parker said.

Parker said the suspects fled with a “decent amount of money,” but would not say how much was stolen. He also declined to give a detailed description of the suspects.

Several hundred people were evacuated in the area surrounding the bank at Atlantic Boulevard and Louis Place.

Robert Lopez said he was at the unemployment office for an appointment a block and half from the bank when they announced around 9:30 a.m. that the building was being evacuated and about 100 people had to leave.

“There is a bomb. There is a bomb, we’ve got to get out,” he said they were told as they were evacuated to a CVS pharmacy parking lot.

Sheriff's bomb specialists were able to remove the device from the woman and later detonate it in the street. It appeared to be a pipe bomb.

The bank manager was taken to a nearby sheriff's station where she was being interviewed.


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-- Sam Quinones in East Los Angeles