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Abducted Bank Manager’s Boyfriend Arrested In Connection With Brazen Robbery

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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Police said Wednesday they have made an arrest in connection with the Sept. 5 robbery of a Bank of America branch in East Los Angeles — a man believed to be the boyfriend of the abducted bank manager who was forced to rob her own bank.

Ray Vega, 33, an Arizona resident, was arrested Sept. 6 and booked on suspicion of conspiracy and robbery, Huntington Park police Lt. Neal Mongan said. Vega has since been released after posting $100,000 bail.

Vega, whose father lives in Bell, is believed to be the boyfriend of the bank manager who was kidnapped from in front of her apartment in Huntington Park, strapped to a fake bomb and forced to rob the bank.

“I’ll tell you what I told him,” Vega’s father in Bell told CBS2/KCAL9’s Melissa McCarty. “I don’t know nothing, and I don’t wanna know nothing about it. So you keep me out of it.”

“The investigation remains very fluid, active and is ongoing,” Mongan said in a statement. “Investigators have been working around the clock. We will not be discussing any specific details regarding this investigation.”

Authorities say two suspects abducted the female bank manager outside her apartment in Huntington Park, strapped what they said was a bomb to her body and sent her into her own bank, at 941 S. Atlantic Blvd., at about 8:30 a.m., with instructions to toss cash through a back door, which she did.

The robbers got away with “a decent amount of money,” sheriff’s Capt. Mike Parker said, declining to say how much.

At least one suspect had a gun, according to authorities, who described the robbers only as black men who wore masks.

The kidnapped woman, who was uninjured but distraught, was questioned by police detectives and FBI agents.

A sheriff’s deputy took the alleged bomb off the woman and placed it on the curb, where it was detonated by a robot.

“Investigators determined that although it looked like an explosive device, it was not explosives,” Parker said.

Bomb experts also examined the bank manager’s car, as well as the bank building. The area was declared safe about an hour later, Parker said.

The robbery was reminiscent of a 2003 heist in Erie, Pa., where a pizza deliveryman who had a real bomb attached to his neck robbed a bank and then was killed when the device blew up as state troopers surrounded him.

Anyone with information on the robbery was asked to call Huntington Park police at (323) 584-6254.

RELATED STORIES:

»FBI Investigates Wednesday Bank Robbery, Alleged Kidnap As Possible Copy Cat Case
»Robbery Victim Strapped With Device Found Inside East LA Bank

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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