A bank manager was strapped to what appeared to be a bomb and sent into her branch to take out money for two thieves now being hunted by the LAPD.
Officials believe the two suspects, who confronted the manager at her home on Tuesday night and forced her to participate in the robbery on Wednesday, fled with the money, Los Angeles County Sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore said. "The two men took her to her bank on Wednesday morning, telling her that she had to wear this explosive device," he said. "They strapped on what appeared to be pipe bomb."
Following the robbery, a sheriff's arson and explosives team removed the device from the woman and rendered it safe using a remote-controlled wheeled robot and sandbags. Lieutenant Neal Mongan, of the Huntington Park Police, later said investigators did not believe the device posed a threat.
Mr Whitmore said the woman, who was not identified, entered the Bank of America branch in east Los Angeles at mid-morning and told her colleagues what was happening before she took the money and threw it out the front doors.
The two suspects were thought to have taken the money from outside the bank before fleeing in a car described as possibly being a white Kia, Mr Whitmore said. He did not say how much money the robbers took. An FBI spokeswoman said the agency was assisting with the investigation.