(LOS ANGELES) — Authorities in California are searching for a pair of bandits who allegedly kidnapped a bank manager, strapped what they said were explosives to her stomach and ordered her to rob her own bank.
The robbers made off with a “significant” amount of money and police later determined that the device, though convincing, was a fake.
The victim described the suspects as “two black men, wearing ski-masks, and one had a handgun,” according to the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department.
The woman was allegedly abducted on Tuesday night and held overnight, according to ABC News’ Los Angeles affiliate KABC. She was taken to the Bank of America in East L.A. on the 900 block of South Atlantic Boulevard where she worked around 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday and instructed to rob it.
“A device was strapped to the woman’s body,” said Capt. Mike Parker of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. “She was told that it was explosives and she was ordered to go into the bank, take out all the money. She did do that in fear for her life.”
“While she was inside the bank, there were other employees present. She explained to them what was happening,” Parker said. “She took the money out of the bank and threw it out the door to the bank robbers.”
The ski mask-wearing thieves fled with the money in a two-door car, possibly a white Kia, according to KABC.
The bank manager was left with the device on her and authorities called a bomb squad. Los Angeles County Sheriff’s investigators and FBI agents, including bomb technicians, responded to the scene. The device was removed from the woman and detonated by a bomb robot, according to authorities.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Joe Sutton and Joshua Berlinger, CNN
Stephen Collinson, CNN
AJ Willingham, CNN
Samantha Murphy Kelly, CNN