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Device in Florida bank robbery a fake bomb, source says

  • Story Highlights
  • NEW: Law enforcement source says device used in robbery a fake bomb
  • Bank employee tells police he was abducted and used in robbery
  • Suspects got away with a large amount of money, police say
  • Police questioning bank employee, who was not hurt
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(CNN) -- Hollywood, Florida, police on Wednesday were trying to sort out a bizarre bank robbery in which a bomblike device was strapped to a bank employee.

A bank employee sits outside a Wachovia in Hollywood, Florida, with an unknown device strapped to him.

A law enforcement source told CNN the device was a fake, and a second source said it was two cylinders and wires taped together.

The bank empoyee told police three armed men came to his house early Tuesday in nearby Dania Beach, strapped what they said was a bomb to him and forced him to rob a Wachovia bank branch in Hollywood where he works, a police spokesman said.

The employee said the three men questioned him about bank procedures for hours before taping the device to him, Hollywood police spokesman Tony Rode said.

One of the armed men then made the employee drive at gunpoint to the bank with his girlfriend in the passenger seat, Rode said.

They drove up to a drive-through window at the bank. The employee knocked on the window and was admitted inside after being recognized.

The employee entered the vault and stuffed more than $25,000 into a plastic bag. He handed the bag to the robber, who ran off, leaving the employee and his girlfriend at the bank, Rode said.

No bank alarm was activated, but employees called 911, Rode said

Broward County deputies used a robot to remove the device from the bank employee and then detonated it, police said. The employee was unhurt. Video Watch police respond to bank robbery »

The bank employee, whom police described as a victim, was questioned until 2:30 a.m. ET Wednesday.

"There are a lot of holes, a lot of loose ends that we're not quite sure with," Rode said.


Police are trying to determine, "Is this legit? Was this all a hoax? Is he truly a victim?" Rode said. "Did he somehow participate in this alleged bank robbery that apparently procured an enormous amount of money?"

Police were looking for the suspects, using only a vague description because they were wearing masks. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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