East L.A. Bank Robbery-Kidnapping an Inside Job?
It was one of the craziest crimes this summer: A Bank of America branch manager was kidnapped from her home in Huntington Park, held overnight, taken to her workplace with a fake bomb strapped to her body, and ordered to rob it Wednesday morning.
Except that ... maybe those aren't all the facts. The FBI confirmed that it obtained a search warrant and went through the woman's home about 7 a.m. Thursday, which makes us wonder if authorities believe this might have been an inside job:
All the FBI would state is this:
Investigators conducted a search of the bank employee's residence location this morning at 07:00 am. This was the location where the crime is reported to have begun with the kidnapping of the bank employee.
From our reading of cops' description of the robbery, which happened about 8:30 a.m. at a Bank of American at 941 S. Atlantic Ave., the woman was genuinely emotional about having a bomb "draped" over her.
But you never know.
She said two men in ski masks, one with a gun, took her to the bank and told her to go to the vault, take money, and the throw cash out the back door, which she did. The L.A. County Sheriff's Department states:
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.
After that the bomb squad arrived and detonated the device, which turned out to be fake.
The team also checked out the woman's car, the bank and the general vicinity to ensure there were no other devices. That triggered a traffic nightmare well into the afternoon for the area around Atlantic and Whittier Boulevard.
The Huntington Park Police Department, the FBI, and the sheriff's department are still investigating.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss LA Weekly's biggest stories.