Armed Bank Robber the Second in a Week to Wield "Suspicious Device"

By Olsen Ebright and Craig Fiegener
|  Tuesday, Sep 11, 2012  |  Updated 3:33 PM PDT
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Authorities brought in a robot after a suspicious device was left at a bank robbery in Moreno Valley. Craig Fiegener reports for the NBC4 News at Noon on Sept. 11, 2012.

Authorities brought in a robot after a suspicious device was left at a bank robbery in Moreno Valley. Craig Fiegener reports for the NBC4 News at Noon on Sept. 11, 2012.

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A masked man dressed in military garb robbed a Moreno Valley bank before it opened for the day, stole a car and left behind a suspicious device, according to the Riverside County Sheriff's Department.

"The employees said that as they were opening up the bank, the suspect approached them. He had a hand gun, and he pretty much forced them to go inside the bank" said sheriff's deputy Albert Martinez.

"Once inside the bank, then he asked for the money," Martinez said.

The incident happened around 8:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Chase bank branch located at 27040 Fir Ave., near Nason Street (map).

"He took both of their vehicle keys and prior to him exiting the bank, he placed what we consider a suspicious device on a coffee table," Martinez said.

It was later determined that the device was not a bomb, Martinez said.

The getaway vehicle was found abandoned nearby and the search for the robber is ongoing. No injuries were reported, Martinez said.

The man was described as 5 feet 10 inches tall, with a muscular build, wearing a black long-sleeved shirt, a black mask, olive military-style pants and black military boots.

His outfit, although described as military in appearance, is not believed to have been protective clothing, according to the FBI.

Anyone with information was asked to call deputies at 951-486-6700.

This is the second recent bank robbery to involve what police called a "suspicious device." Last week, two men kidnapped a bank employee and strapped a device to her. The woman went into her East Los Angeles bank, got an undisclosed amount of cash and threw it outside the bank for the two robbers.


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