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Florida police: Teller forced to rob his own bank

From Rich Phillips, CNN
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Police: Hostages taken in bank
  • NEW: Robbers accosted the teller and attached an explosive device to him
  • NEW: A bomb squad deactivated the device
  • NEW: Authorities are still looking for the people they believe are responsible
  • No one is reported injured

Miami, Florida (CNN) -- Robbers in south Florida apparently accosted a teller at home, strapped an explosive device on him and drove to his bank, where they demanded he rob it on Friday, authorities said.

No one was injured and the device was deactivated by a bomb squad without incident, Coral Gables Police Chief Richard Naue told reporters, according to video shot by CNN affiliate WSVN.

Authorities had initially thought they were dealing with a hostage situation at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch branch in suburban Miami.

"It is an unusual event to have explosives strapped to a victim and sent in," said FBI agent Dena Choucair.

The teller, who was told the device could be triggered remotely, took an undisclosed amount of money from the bank outside to his abductors who waited in the parking lot, said Naue. Police are looking for the suspects, who left in a red Mustang, the police chief added.

Authorities took into custody the man who wore the explosive device and are interviewing him, said Choucair, declining to comment on whether he could have any connection to the suspects.

She said three armed men invaded his home shortly after midnight.