Friday, September 24, 2010

Human Bomb Used By Robbers in Florida Bank Heist

US bank robbers strap bomb to teller

September 25, 2010

Armed police surround the Bank of America in Miami that the robbers targeted / AP Source: AP

A BANK teller was kidnapped from his home by robbers who strapped a suspected bomb to his chest and used him to steal money from a Bank of America branch near the University of Miami.

The suspected explosive device was safely removed from the teller and authorities were working to detonate it.

"The device has been taken off. It is contained within the bank," Lieutenant Janette Frevola, of the Coral Gables Police Department. told reporters.

A major South Florida thoroughfare, US1, was closed for hours in both directions at the height of rush hour. Three local schools were on lockdown as a precaution and the University of Miami sent out a campus-wide alert warning students and staff to avoid the area, although classes continued as usual.

The incident began yesterday with a home invasion at an apartment complex in the suburb of Kendall, where the bank teller lived, said FBI spokeswoman Judy Orihuela.

The robbers took the teller to the Coral Gables bank, used him to steal an undetermined amount of cash and then made a getaway in a stolen red Ford Mustang.

Lieutenant Frevola said police were questioning the teller and would not reveal his identity. They were still investigating whether he was involved in the crime or just a victim.

Initial reports that there were hostages in the bank appeared to be unfounded, but the incident triggered a massive police response because of the possible explosive.

Bank of America said in a statement: "The safety of our associates is our highest priority and Bank of America is working closely with law enforcement to assist in the situation."

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