Fake bomb, kidnap alleged in LA bank heist

(CBS News) A manhunt is underway for two men suspected of robbing a Bank of America in Los Angeles Wednesday. The suspects got away with money from the vault, without ever entering the bank themselves.

The bank's manager says she was kidnapped by two masked men at her home. They strapped what they told her was a bomb around her waist and demanded she then rob her own bank.

Lt. Neal Mongan of the Huntington Park Police said, "The suspects forced her to wear a device, which she believed to be an explosive device, and gave her instructions to retrieve cash from the bank, and then in turn pass it out to the suspects who were waiting outside."

In fear for her life, the woman entered the bank just before opening and bagged up money from the vault. As the robbers sped away, employees quickly called the bomb squad, who carefully removed the device from her body.

The device was sand-bagged outside the bank and hundreds were evacuated from the area as a robot moved in to detonate it. Experts later determined it was not a real bomb, but a convincing fake. It's not known how the manager was targeted, but the FBI is digging for clues in her home and car.

In a city known for bizarre bank robberies, this heist has quickly taken its place near the top of the list.

If you have any information regarding this case, please contact the Huntington Park Police Department (323) 584-6254, or the FBI (310) 477-6565. If you wish to remain Anonymous, call "LA Crime Stoppers" by dialing 800-222-TIPS (8477), texting the letters TIPLA plus your tip to CRIMES (274637), or using the website, http://lacrimestoppers.org.

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  • Bill Whitaker

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