48 Hours: Show Me the Money

Strapped with Dynamite, a Woman Robs a Bank to Save her Daughter Held Hostage by a Team of Gunmen

This story originally aired on Oct. 3, 2009.

A relaxing evening at home quickly turned into a night of terror for bank manager Michelle Renee when three masked gunmen burst into her Vista, Calif., home and took her and her 7-year-old daughter, Breea, hostage. But this was no random break-in.

Michelle, a 35-year-old divorced mother, was the assistant vice president at a local branch of Bank of America... and the gunmen knew exactly who she was and where she worked.

Strapped with dynamite, she was forced to the rob bank where she worked to save her daughter. But was Michelle really the victim, or the mastermind of the crime? "48 Hours Mystery" correspondent Susan Spencer reports.

"We had gotten home right around 6:30, the sun was setting, and we were getting ready to go into the house and make homemade pizzas," Michelle Renee explained.

"I was a single mother and my daughter loved when we got to spend time together. We decided to sit down on the couch and play some Game Boy to unwind from the day.

"And then everything was completely shattered in one blink of an eye.

"The backdoor to our house just came crashing in with a sound that is completely indescribable. There were three men all dressed in black and masks, rushing towards us, SWAT style, in a line.

"They grabbed us, threw us to the floor… one man was on my back, guns to my head, and the duct tape started to unroll and rip.

"My daughter was out of sight, couldn't hear her, didn't know what was going on, and I was screaming for our life.

"There's three of them. There's nothing, absolutely nothing I could've done, to protect her.

"I'm Michelle Renee, and I was kidnapped and held hostage along with my 7-year-old daughter.

"We were held for 14 hours ... all night long until the next morning, when it was time to, as they said, "Go to work." That meant to go rob the bank on that day.

"They duct taped dynamite to our backs. And showed us a device that he said was a detonation device.

"He said, 'If you don't do everything perfect, your daughter will blow up first, you will blow up next. So don't screw this up.'

"And then I became a bank robber."
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