FBI searching for 2 robbery suspects who pepper sprayed employees, customers

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FBI detectives are searching for a pair of armed suspects who pepper sprayed customers and bank employees during a robbery at an Orange County bank. (KABC)

FBI detectives are searching for a pair of armed suspects who pepper sprayed customers and employees during a robbery at an Orange County bank.

Authorities said the first suspect entered a City National Bank at 5252 Katella Ave. in Los Alamitos around 10 a.m. Friday. He propped the door open for the second suspect to enter, and both put masks on.

"The second robber who came into the bank proceeded to jump the counter, he got on the other side, they made demands on the customers and told the employees to get down on the ground," FBI spokesman Christopher Gicking said.

At one point, surveillance photos show the first robber without his mask on, pointing a handgun at the head of a bank teller. He ordered her to take him to the vault, but complained there wasn't enough money.

Authorities said the suspects took money from the vault and cash drawers, then the second suspect pepper sprayed the victims who were lined up against the wall.

"Especially when they were ordered against the wall, I think a lot of them assumed the worst was going to happen so it's very scary for the customers and the employees," Gicking said.

Garden Grove resident Gloria Risner was headed to the bank, but fortunately she was running behind.

"My heart's pounding right now thinking about that's what really happened so I'm glad that I wasn't maybe five or 10 minutes earlier," she said. "I was getting ready to leave and then got stopped - thank God I was stopped because I probably would have walked right into it."

The FBI describes the suspects as being in their late 20s to early 30s, 5 feet 8 inches to 6 feet tall, with slender builds. They left in a black vehicle.

Authorities will not reveal how much money was taken, only that it was in the thousands.

Anyone with information is urged to call the FBI at (310) 477-6565.
Related Topics:
bank robberyFBIsearchpepper sprayLos AlamitosOrange County
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