World

Florida robbers strap 'bomb' to bank worker in heist

Police and FBI outside of the Bank of America
Image caption Police say three suspects got away from the Bank of America robbery in Coral Gables with cash

Three robbers abducted a bank worker, fixed a suspected bomb to his chest and used him to help rob a bank near the city of Miami in the US state of Florida, the FBI says.

The Bank of America worker was kidnapped at his home early on Friday by three suspects, FBI spokeswoman Judy Orihuela said.

They brought him to a branch in Coral Gables an used him to help steal cash.

The employee was unharmed. Police are working to detonate the suspected bomb.

Major response

"The device has been taken off. It is contained within the bank," Coral Gables Police Lt Janette Frevola told reporters.

The three suspects abducted the worker from his apartment in the nearby town of Kendall.

The suspects then took the bank employee to the bank in Coral Gables at about 0815 local time (1215 GMT) used him to effect the robbery, and made a getaway in a stolen red Ford Mustang.

Police were still investigating whether the bank employee was a victim or was involved in the crime, Ms Frevola said.

The incident triggered a major police response because of the use of a suspected explosive device.

The FBI and Miami-Dade County police officers surrounded the bank, shutting roads and warning students at the nearby University of Miami to stay away.

Coral Gables is a wealthy city within Miami-Dade County with a population of around 42,000.