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FBI Investigates Wednesday Bank Robbery, Alleged Kidnap As Possible Copy Cat Case

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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The FBI confirms it is looking into similarities between two bizarre bank robberies involving kidnapped bank managers and alleged bombs.

The bank manager in the first case, Michelle Renee, who was the subject of a past “48 HOURS Mystery,” spoke exclusively to CBS2 reporter Carter Evans about her ordeal.

In November of 2000, Renee was kidnapped at her home, strapped with a fake bomb and forced to take $360,000 from the Bank of America branch she managed in Vista.

“I immediately thought, ‘This can’t be happening again,'” she says.

Renee knows the latest branch manager who claims to have been kidnapped and strapped with a bomb on Wednesday is now dealing with fear, police interrogations and, says Carter, endless questions.

“It is possible that this could have been an inside job, but they thought the same thing of me,” says Renee, who was home with a young daughter at the time she was abducted. “I robbed the bank to save our lives.”

She wrote a book about her ordeal, which was later turned into a Lifetime movie.

The latest bank robbery, which took place at a Bank of America branch in East Los Angeles, is incredibly, eerily similar.

“I thought it to myself. I’ve had people call me and say this looks like a such copycat crime,” Renee says.

Investigators are not releasing how much was stolen in this week’s caper, but say it was “a significant amount.”

The perpetrators in the first bank robbery in 2000 are serving life sentences.

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