Cross-dressing robber walks into N.M. bank, leaves "bomb"

By KATE WILLSON Journal Staff Writer
Albuquerque Journal (New Mexico)

Albuquerque, N.M.— A bomb squad was called in Monday afternoon after a cross-dressing robber walked into a bank, demanded money and left behind a black bag he said contained a bomb.

FBI spokesman Bill Elwell said that, just before noon, a tall, obese man dressed like a woman, wearing latex gloves and a long black-and-white wig, walked into the Bank of Albuquerque branch at 706 St. Michael's Drive.

One witness said he was wearing a dress, but the teller couldn't describe the man from the waist down.

He carried a black bag as he approached a teller, Elwell said. He said he had a bomb in the bag and demanded cash.

After receiving an undisclosed amount of money, the man walked out, climbed into a car and drove away.

But he left behind the black bag, out of which stuck tubes and wires.

Santa Fe Police responded to the initial 911 call and alarm, but, because the bank is federally insured, jurisdiction fell to the FBI.

FBI agents called in the Los Alamos Hazardous Devices Team bomb squad to make sure the bomb was a hoax before entering to conduct their investigation.

A bomb squad robot was used to check out the bag, using a small explosive equivalent to a shotgun shell. The test determined that there was no bomb.

Police blocked off parts of St. Michael's and Pacheco Street while the bag was checked out.

The bank robber was described as 6 feet tall, weighing between 250 and 300 pounds. The man was described as unshaven.

He drove away in a 2000 or 2001 Toyota Camry with silver rims.

Elwell said the FBI hopes the bank cameras will give them some leads.  

Copyright 2007 Albuquerque Journal 

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