Forced To Rob

Tuesday, January 10, 2012 - 3:28pm

Man straps bomb to elderly woman and orders her to rob bank.

78-year old Herbert Davis left his Fayetteville, Arkansas home to get coffee Monday morning as he usually does, but this time while he was gone, authorities say a man knocked on the Davis' door.

Carly Geanolous says her 73-year old grandmother Betty answered and found a man claiming to be injured.

"She opened the door and said let me call somebody for you, and he got up and grabbed her."

Authorities believe the man then attached a bomb to Betty's ankle and waited.

"He knew that my grandfather would be coming back."

Carly says the man tied up her grandmother, and when her grandpa got home he duct-taped him to a chair.

"He just wanted money, so he held a gun at them and made her go with him to the bank," said Geanolous.

According to Washington County Sheriff Tim Helder, cash was the evident motive.

"If she would extract some money then they would both be released unharmed."

"He showed her the detonator and said all I've got to do is push this button," said Geanolous.

The man told Betty to drive to the Arvest bank on Martin Luther King Boulevard, as he followed her in Herbert's Ford F-150 pickup truck.

Once at the bank, Betty walked inside.

"Briefly entered the bank and told them what was going on and stepped out just in case it was detonated," said Sheriff Helder.

Bank employees then called Fayetteville Police.

By the time they arrived the kidnapper was long gone, but Betty told investigators she had been a victim of a home invasion.

That is when Washington County Sheriff's Deputies went to her home and found Herbert.

"Their whole world has been disrupted by this person, and that's a shame," said Sheriff Helder.

Geanolous says the support of friends, family and their church is making it easier during this tough time.

"It's a hard experience, but I think that they're doing, they're holding up really well...Everyone's okay, that's all you can really pray for, is just safety, and that's what we got, and we're really blessed."

Ultimately no one was hurt, and authorities found the Davis' stolen truck Monday afternoon at Great House Park in Fayetteville.

The man behind these crimes is still on the loose.

Investigators say he should be considered armed and dangerous. Authorities believe the man must have known Betty or Herbert Davis, or known someone affiliated with the couple.

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