Police: Suspect terrorized couple to rob Surprise B of A

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azfamily.com

SURPRISE -- Police are searching for the suspect who held a couple hostage overnight before forcing the woman to rob the Bank of America branch where she worked early Saturday morning.

Suspect on the loose

Surprise police said the call reporting the robbery of the bank near Bell Road and Grand Avenue came in at about 9 a.m.

Police said the branch manager told them that a man broke into her home near Cactus Road and Bullard Avenue at about 9 p.m. Friday.

She said the suspect held her and her husband hostage all night, and then drove her to the bank Saturday morning.

According to investigators, the woman said the man demanded that she get money out of the vault for him.

"If she didn't comply with his orders, [he said] that he had put an explosive device on her husband and that he would detonate it remotely," said Sgt. Mark Ortega of the Surprise Police Department. "She was in fear for her husband and went in and complied with exactly what he told her to do."

The woman, whose name has not been released, said the suspect drove away in a grey sedan, dropping her off around the corner.

Officers went to the woman's home and found her husband unhurt. It's not clear if any explosive device was located.

Ortega said police do not believe at this point that the woman or her husband was involved.

"Right now, they're just victims," he said. "Everybody is still being interviewed."

It's not known how much money the suspect got away with.

The Surprise Police Department and the FBI are investigating.

The problem, according to police, is that the suspect wore a mask the entire time, so they don't have a good description of him.

There was a similar incident about a year ago in the East Valley. Police do not know yet if the two are connected in any way.

Anybody who might have information about Saturday morning's robbery should contact the Surprise Police Department at 623-222-4000.