Local News

FBI, Durham police seek bank manager's kidnappers

Posted December 4, 2008 8:29 a.m. EST
Updated December 5, 2008 5:15 a.m. EST

— Durham police are searching for three people – two black men and a black woman – who kidnapped a bank branch manager and his 13-year-old daughter Thursday morning.

A vehicle bumped his Mercedes from behind along Pineburr Place when then man was taking his daughter to school around 7:30 a.m., police said. When the man got out of his car, three people confronted him at gunpoint, hit him on the head and forced him back into his car.

They put the daughter in the trunk of their car, which was stolen, according to police. But the teen knew how to pull the trunk release lever and escaped, a family member said. She flagged down a Durham County sheriff's deputy.

Meanwhile, the kidnappers forced the bank manager to drive about 8 miles to Newby Drive, behind the bank branch he manages – Bank of America at 3807 N. Duke St, police said.

The teen told police about her father's job at the bank, and officers later found his Mercedes parked there. The man, who was not injured, came out of the bank several minutes later, police said.

Initially, police did not know if the carjackers were in the bank. They secured the area and called in the Selective Enforcement Team.

"All of a sudden, everything got shut down," said Terry Hatchett, who works nearby the bank. "We saw officers coming from everywhere, every direction."

However, commanders determined the suspects had fled, and they issued an alert for a silver sports-utility vehicle.

Police have not reported a bank robbery, and the motive for the kidnapping remains unclear.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is assisting Durham police in the investigation.