Thu, Oct 06 2011 12:00 PM Posted By: Allison K. Sampite
Employees at a bank in National City had a scare this morning when a hooded suspect entered the business and left two suspicious bags behind, then ran out.
At a Chase bank located at 1130 E. Plaza in National City, a suspect entered the business around 9:15 a.m., and set down two sports-type bags—one red and one green in an attempt to rob the branch.
One to two minutes later, the bank received a call from a man who said to put $100,000 in the red bag or the green bag would blow up, according to National City Public Information Officer Mike Harlan.
Bank employees called the police then evacuated the building.
Police arrived within a few minutes and created a perimeter surrounding the bank.
The Sheriff’s Department called the bomb squad in within 15 minutes, who arrived at 9:16 a.m. The bomb squad released their robot, a device used to X-ray any potentially harmful materials, which found no items in the red bag, but several water bottles filled with liquid in the green bag.
Authorities evacuated 30 to 35 nearby businesses.
The Hazardous Materials team was called in to check out the bottles to make sure the liquid inside them wasn’t filled with harmful chemicals.
Officers were able to locate a witness who saw the suspect flee to a nearby kiosk and remove the hoody, place it on the ground, then proceeded to run west on Highland Avenue. The witness told police the suspect is black, thin and stood about five feet 11 inches.
National City patrol officers along with San Diego Sheriff helicopters searched the area but did not find the suspect.
The National City Police Department, FBI and Sheriff’s department all contributed to the investigation.
The FBI will take the investigation over. Authorities will continue to look at surveillance cameras for more clues and information to help solve the case.
This story was updated at 4:34 p.m. Oct. 6.
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