Bank Manager Kidnapped, Forced to Rob Own Bank

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Scott Eells / Bloomberg / Getty Images

Do you ever see a crime carried out in a movie and, perhaps somewhat irrationally, begin to fear that real-life criminals might attempt a similar transgression?

Well, maybe such worries aren’t entirely unfounded, because Wednesday, two men pulled off a stunt straight out of 30 Minutes or Less. In the 2011 comedy/action flick, the pizza-delivering protagonist, played by Jesse Eisenberg, is forced to rob a bank after kidnappers strap an explosive device to his chest. It’s only Hollywood, of course, so suspenseful and hilarious shenanigans ensue. But play out the same situation in real life, and it becomes utterly terrifying.

Yesterday morning, two masked men accosted the manager of a Los Angeles Bank of America branch in her garage as she walked to her car. They attached to her chest what they said was a bomb and ordered her to drive to her bank, remove money from the vault and give it to them, the Los Angeles Times reports.

(MORE: Man Robs Bank for $1 To Get Health Care in Jail)

The woman, whose name has not been released, complied with the instructions. She handed off a large bag of cash to the robbers, who then sped off, out of view of the bank’s security cameras. The L.A. County Sheriff’s Department bomb squad soon detonated the device strapped to her body — though law enforcement officials said it didn’t appear to be an active bomb. The robbers are still at large, and the amount of money they stole has not been disclosed.

Several hundred people in the area were evacuated following the crime, which took place just after 8:30 a.m. Wednesday. Additional details regarding the exact timeline of the crime have not been released. Initial reports indicated that the woman had been abducted Tuesday and held overnight, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Proving this saga’s Hollywood-like quality even further, just like Jesse Eisenberg’s character in 30 Minutes or Less, the woman was fortunately unharmed in the end.

MORE: Messy Handwriting Foils Delaware Man’s Robbery Attempt

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Tom Harney
Tom Harney

they detonated the device? sucks for her

Greg Laden
Greg Laden

As Johnsawyer says, this happened before.  In at least one earlier incident the hapless robber was in fact blown up while surrounded by police and camera crews, it was really awful.  


The article has its premise backwards.  This isn't the first time bank robbers have strapped bombs to people to force them to rob a bank, and those first incidents were actually the inspiration for its inclusion in the movie "30 Minutes Or Less".  The main difference is that in those first incidents, real bombs were used.