FBI Probes Bizarre Bank Heist

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Thursday, September 6, 2012 - 8:51am

LA bank manager kidnapped and forced to rob her own branch with fake bomb.

The search continues for two masked men who kidnapped a bank manager in Huntington Park, California, held her overnight, attached a supposed bomb to her and then had her rob an East Los Angeles bank.

Investigators are looking to surveillance camera to provide leads in the case and are questioning the female victim, among others, officials said during a Wednesday news conference.

The woman, who was not being identified, was abducted from her home in Huntington Park on Tuesday, LA Sheriff's Department Capt. Mike Parker said.

"She was held against her will until the morning," he said. "At about 8:30 this morning, she was at the bank. It is unclear at this moment whether she was brought to the bank or drove herself here."

"She went into the bank, and she told another employee or employees that she had this device attached to her, and that she was demanded by the robbers to get the money from the bank and throw it outside," Parker said.

The SWAT force, bomb squad, sheriff's deputies, and the fire department responded to the Bank of America branch.

Aerial video showed a deputy removing a small, dark-colored object from the bank and placing it along a street curb.

Shortly after, a bomb-squad robot was sent into the area.

At 9:30 a.m., an armored member of the bomb squad surrounded the device with what appeared to be sand bags.

At 9:45 a.m., the robot fired a projectile into the device.

Investigators do not believe the device posed a threat to the employee, Lt. Neal Morgan with Huntington Park Police said during a news conference Wednesday night.

The robot was then moved to a nearby parking lot to inspect the area.

Authorities are still searching for the two alleged robbers.

Earlier reports noted the men fled in a Kia, possibly white, but late Wednesday authorities said they could not confirm a suspect-vehicle description.

At least one of the suspects had a gun.

The bank would not confirm the woman's employment status.

It is now referring all questions to law enforcement.

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