Local News

Mother, daughter safe after kidnapping, Sanford bank robbery try

Posted September 27, 2012

— A Sanford bank employee and her daughter were kidnapped from their Harnett County home Thursday morning by two men who took them to the bank and forced the woman to try to rob it, authorities said.

The robbery was botched, and the mother and daughter were unharmed, but investigators are still searching for the two men.

A spokesman for the Harnett County Sheriff’s Office said the incident began just before 7 a.m., when the men entered the woman’s home on Hillman Grove Road in Cameron just as the daughter came back from letting out the family dog.

The men wore wearing dark clothing, masks and gloves, and one was armed with a handgun.

Investigators said the men told the woman they knew she worked at Crescent State Bank in Sanford and that she usually arrived for work at 8 a.m. The pair forced the mother and daughter into the woman’s blue Honda Civic and drove the vehicle to the bank, at 870 Spring Lane.

When they arrived, one of the men instructed the woman to go inside and retrieve an undisclosed amount of money. Investigators said the daughter remained in the car with the men while the woman complied.

The two men grew impatient while the woman was inside the bank, and the drove off with the girl without getting any money.

Sanford police received the first emergency call at 8:21 a.m., and the Harnett County Sheriff’s Office was notified of the abduction about 20 minutes later. A description of the vehicle was broadcast, and a manhunt began.

Crescent State Bank Authorities search for men in two-county bank robbery plot

Sanford police officers found the car, with the girl in the back seat, abandoned off U.S. Highway 15/501 at the entrance to Steel and Pipe Corp. in Sanford.

The girl wasn't injured, authorities said.

Officers canvassed the area around the steel plant and detained a man, but an FBI spokesman said the man wasn't connected to the kidnapping or attempted bank robbery.

Kieran Shanahan, a Raleigh lawyer who represents the bank, said the mother and daughter were reunited and were holding up “pretty well.” Authorities said they were in a secure location for their safety.

Shanahan said the bank is cooperating with the investigation, and the employees are focused on well-being of their co-worker and her daughter.

The branch will reopen Friday.

The first man is described as black, about 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighing 160 to 170 pounds. The second man is also black, about 5 feet 8 inches tall, weighing about 180 pounds.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Harnett County Sheriff’s Office at 910-893-9111.

The North Carolina Bankers Association is offering a reward for information leading to an arrest and indictment in the case.


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  • toddtessman Oct 1, 2012

    "More of NC's finest doing what they do best!!"
    Oh really the 13 minute video shows the cops arresting a man taking a walk during his break from work!! He was taking a walk near where he worked and they video tape the thing like a man hunt then detained him for an hour just to figure out 1- uh he did NOT fit any description of either suspect, not even close AND 2- Do not explain what they did in the video, then they are fist bumping each other like they found a hardened criminal!! Nothing in the story says anything about that big "capture" of a man that had nothing to do with the crime!!

  • foghat001 Sep 28, 2012

    Don't see any 'odd details' ???

    As time goes on, more detail about this incident will be reported, especially if the perps are arrested. Just another crime committed by a couple of dangerous dimwits.

  • K9Tucker.LoveMYcop Sep 28, 2012

    This sounds just like a lifetime true movie, just can't think of the name of it. Glad they are safe, but I think I would have to move.

  • canucmypointofview Sep 28, 2012

    Wondering how old the daughter is??

  • seankelly15 Sep 28, 2012

    storchheim - "Because that would explain a lot of the odd details."

    Hmm... and what "odd details" do you think that you see?

  • storchheim Sep 27, 2012

    I'm pretty shall we say "leisurely" about getting the point sometimes, so here we go: did someone suggest this incident was a copycat of a movie? Because that would explain a lot of the odd details.

    Or it was an inside job that went wrong and still hasn't unraveled. We should know soon!

  • go po-po Sep 27, 2012

    what I dont understand is why the gardener didnt do anything when he saw this happening. and what about the texting part? praying for the family.

  • storchheim Sep 27, 2012

    Ms. Manda brings up another point. The robbers let the woman go into the bank alone. Did they not realize she might call for help?

    Again, GLAD the girl is OK, but unless they really did not want to hurt another human being...odd that they neither hurt nor kidnapped her. And why did they decide to drive off - was the mother taking too long? Panic? A cop drove past?

  • Ms.Manda Sep 27, 2012

    "Thank God they were both unharmed, but the details seem strange to me. That the mother didn't give them everything she could get her hands on to save her daughter and that they drove off without $$$ and still released the child unharmed doesn't figure, or does it?"

    The problem with your comment is that vaults are time locked, they're almost always under dual control (requiring 2 different combos from 2 different people) and the kicker...the money is locked up. Even if she had 1/2 of the combo, she wouldn't be able to open the safe alone. It's not like the branch just leaves money laying out overnight. The mother most likely tripped the robbery alarms- thus alerting the police QUIETLY and then called them as well. The alarms bring them to the bank and she calls to report her daughter being kidnapped.

    (i'm a bank teller)

  • muggs Sep 27, 2012

    This ladies home is pretty far into a rural part of Harnett Co, and is quite far from surrounding homes in comparrison to other areas, should not be hard to conduct a search, more than likely from there.