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Monday
May202013

Three Men Arrested, Charged in California Fake Bomb Bank Heist

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- Three men have been arrested and charged in a Los Angeles bank robbery in which the men allegedly strapped what they said were explosives to a bank manager's stomach and ordered her to rob her own bank.

One of the men was the bank manager's boyfriend, according to the federal indictment released on Monday.

The robbers made off with about $565,500 and police later determined that the device was a fake.

The three men -- Ray Vega, Richard Menchaca and Bryan Perez -- were charged with conspiracy to commit bank robbery, bank robbery and aiding and abetting.

Vega was the bank manager's boyfriend, according to a federal indictment. The bank manager is only identified as A.B. in a legal document.

Vega allegedly formulated the plan to rob the Bank of America where "one of his girlfriends" was the assistant branch manager, according to the indictment. Menchaca and Perez were to go to the bank to examine its layout and the surrounding area.

"On the day of the bank robbery, defendant Vega would arrange for A.B. to go to the bank wearing an item resembling an explosive device to make it appear that A.B. was a hostage in a bank robbery and the purported explosive device would detonate unless an employee at the bank helped A.B. remove money from the bank's vault," the indictment stated.

The bank manager, A.B., has not been charged but police were vague about her possible involvement.

At a news conference, Huntington Park Police Chief Jorge Cisneros was asked whether she would be charged. He would only say that the suspects were not being charged with kidnapping, according to ABC News' Los Angeles station KABC.

Investigators say the money has not been recovered and are asking for the public's help because they think there are others who have information about the crime, according to KABC. Bank of America is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of additional suspects in the case.

Authorities are asking anyone with information to call (888) CANT-HIDE.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio