Crime & Justice

East LA Bank of America manager kidnapped, potential explosive device strapped to her in bank robbery

A bomb squad robot and a member of the squad outside an East L.A. bank on Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012.
A bomb squad robot and a member of the squad outside an East L.A. bank on Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012.
NBC Los Angeles

Update 10:50 p.m.: The object strapped to the woman's body was not an actual explosive, the Sheriff's Department says.

Two men are wanted on suspicion of kidnapping after they allegedly kidnapped a bank manager, held her overnight and strapped a device to her stomach before robbing an East Los Angeles Bank of America.

The bomb squad responded to the East L.A. bank Wednesday and detonated the possible explosive device. A sheriff's deputy with the department's bomb squad, dressed in a bomb suit, lined the device with sandbags before a robot exploded the device, according to NBC L.A..

L.A. County sheriff's Sgt. Michael Duran says the victim told investigators she was kidnapped in nearby Huntington Park last night and taken to the bank wearing a device placed on her stomach.

Capt. Mike Parker said the woman was told by the robbers the device was an explosive. The victim and suspects arrived at the bank at about 8:30am. The woman then took money from the bank's vault and tossed it through the door, according to the robbers' instructions. She also alerted employees to what was happening, and one of them called police.

When bomb squad members showed up, they removed the device from the woman's body and took it outside. After exploding the device, the squad searched the bank and the woman's car for possible explosives, finding nothing.

The 900 block of Atlantic Blvd. remains closed as the FBI, Sheriff's Department, and local police collect clues. The area has now been deemed "safe."

The victim is physically sound, but shaken up, according to Parker. The suspects are at large. Investigators are not releasing any additional information about the woman's kidnapping or the suspects at this time.