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Manhunt underway to find suspects who strapped device to bank employee’s body in Commerce

By Brian Hews

Manhunt begins to find bank robbery suspect in East LA who attached a bomb to a bank manager's body

Manhunt begins to find bank robbery suspect in East LA who attached a bomb to a bank manager’s body

Members of law enforcement are conducting an all out manhunt to find two suspects who were responsible for one of the most brazen bank robberies in recent memory here in Southern California.

On Wednesday morning a woman who is a Bank Employee for Bank of America on Atlantic Boulevard and Whittier Boulevard, East Los Angeles, was kidnapped in front of her home and held against her will. At about 8:30 A.M., she and two male adult kidnappers arrived at the bank.

The kidnappers strapped a device to her body which they said was an explosive device, and it appeared to her to be explosives.

The kidnappers/bank robbers told her to go into the bank and remove all the money. She said that she feared for her life so she entered the bank and removed the money from the vault. She showed what appeared to be an explosive device attached to her body to the other employees in the bank at the time. She took the money and threw it out the back door as ordered by the robbers. The bank robbers fled the scene.

The victim described the suspects as two Black men, wearing ski-masks, and one had a handgun. The name of the victim has not been identified.

East Los Angeles Sheriff’s Station deputies were called to the bank and found the victim inside the bank with what appeared to be an explosive device attached to her body. Other employees were evacuated from the bank, and two deputies remained inside with the victim, in an effort to keep her calm.

Sheriff’s Bomb Squad Investigators arrived at the bank and observed a device which appeared to be explosives, draped over her body. Working together, the investigators calmed the woman and carefully removed the device from her body. The woman was evacuated from the scene. There were no signs that she was physically injured.

Shortly before 10:00 A.M. Wednesday, Sheriff’s Bomb Squad investigators rendered the apparent explosive device safe. Investigators determined that although it looked like an explosive device, it was not explosives.

Sheriff’s Bomb Squad detectives then thoroughly examined the victim’s vehicle, the bank, and the surrounding area to ensure that there were no other devices. There were no other devices found.

By 11:30 A.M., Bomb Squad Detectives said the area was clear of any suspicious devices. By 4:30 P.M., Atlantic Boulevard between Whittier Boulevard and Verona Street remained shut-down to vehicle and pedestrian traffic while investigators with the Huntington Park Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department continued their crime scene investigation. Atlantic Boulevard was re-opened to vehicle and pedestrian traffic by 5:00 P.M.

The agency leading the investigation is the Huntington Park Police Department, assisted by the F.B.I., and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

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

Source: LASD Media Division