Monday, June 14, 2010

Manatee sheriff: Woman's kidnapping/bomb/bank robbery claims may be true

 A 47-year-old woman claiming to have a bomb attached to her body hands a note to the Manatee County Sheriff's Department's bomb robot in the parking lot of a Bank of America in Palmetto. (Photo: Tiffany Tompkins-Condie)
There is evidence that a woman who claims she was told by kidnappers that a bomb had been strapped to her back and to rob a bank or it would be detonated may be true, Manatee County Sheriff’s Office officials said today.

The 47-year-old woman caused a bomb scare  at about 5:40 p.m. Friday that shut down streets surrounding downtown Palmetto for hours, after she entered the Bank of America at 700 Eighth Ave. W., wrapped in chains with what turned out to be a fake explosive device strapped to her back.

Swarms of sheriff’s deputies and Palmetto police officers shut off much of downtown Palmetto as a bomb squad secured the area and found the device strapped to the woman to be fake.

But the investigation took a strange twist as the woman told detectives that she had been kidnapped, with her attackers throwing the chains on her and strapping the device to her back, before forcing her enter the bank to rob it, according to sheriff’s reports.

Sheriff’s spokesman Randy Warren declined to release her name saying the investigation is ongoing.

“Some of what she has told us has been found to be credible,” Warren said.

To see more photos from Friday's standoff, go here.

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