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Woman says she was forced to attempt a bank robbery

By Nick Valencia, CNN
updated 7:30 PM EST, Mon January 9, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A device was put on a woman's ankle and she was told to rob a bank, she tells police
  • She told the story to a teller; her husband is found tied up at their home
  • Police: "You can't make this stuff up. Well, you could ..."

(CNN) -- An elderly Arkansas woman told police she was forced to wear an explosive device around her ankle and attempt a bank robbery by a man who had broken into her home, Fayetteville police said Monday.

"There is no indication that she is being deceptive. At this point we are investigating it as a home invasion," Sgt. Craig Stout told CNN in a phone interview. "You can't make this stuff up. Well, you could, but there's no reason for us to suspect this was made up."

Betty Davis, 73, "looked traumatized" when police showed up at the Arvest Bank to investigate an attempted robbery, Stout said. A teller had called police after Davis described the situation she was in.

The employees of the bank were evacuated as the bomb squad was called to remove the device from Davis' ankle, Stout said. Authorities were working Monday to determine if the device could have been detonated.

Davis told officers that she and her husband had been held hostage at her residence in Washington County, and she had been instructed to go to the bank and remove money.

"She told us she had been followed to the bank to carry out the robbery," Stout said. It was not clear if she actually had been followed.

"When sheriff's deputies went to her residence, they found her husband was tied up," Stout said. "Their stories matched up."

The husband did not suffer any injuries, police said in a news release.

The bomb squad was also dispatched to the home, Stout said.

Police are looking for at least one suspect, a white male, he said, although initially they believed more than one might have been involved.

The couple's 2011 Silver Ford F-150 was stolen from the residence. Police believe the suspect may have used it to get away, Stout said.

The vehicle was found Monday evening at a park in Fayetteville, Stout said.

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