iStockphoto/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- Three men have been arrested and charged in a Los Angeles bank robbery in which the men allegedly strapped what they said were explosives to a bank manager's stomach and ordered her to rob her own bank.
One of the men was the bank manager's boyfriend, according to the federal indictment released on Monday.
The robbers made off with about $565,500 and police later determined that the device was a fake.
The three men -- Ray Vega, Richard Menchaca and Bryan Perez -- were charged with conspiracy to commit bank robbery, bank robbery and aiding and abetting.
Vega was the bank manager's boyfriend, according to a federal indictment. The bank manager is only identified as A.B. in a legal document.
Vega allegedly formulated the plan to rob the Bank of America where "one of his girlfriends" was the assistant branch manager, according to the indictment. Menchaca and Perez were to go to the bank to examine its layout and the surrounding area.
"On the day of the bank robbery, defendant Vega would arrange for A.B. to go to the bank wearing an item resembling an explosive device to make it appear that A.B. was a hostage in a bank robbery and the purported explosive device would detonate unless an employee at the bank helped A.B. remove money from the bank's vault," the indictment stated.
The bank manager, A.B., has not been charged but police were vague about her possible involvement.
At a news conference, Huntington Park Police Chief Jorge Cisneros was asked whether she would be charged. He would only say that the suspects were not being charged with kidnapping, according to ABC News' Los Angeles station KABC.
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Investigators say the money has not been recovered and are asking for the public's help because they think there are others who have information about the crime, according to KABC. Bank of America is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of additional suspects in the case.
Authorities are asking anyone with information to call (888) CANT-HIDE.
File photo. Hemera/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- When you see African cheetahs, Chinese red pandas, Micronesian kingfishers and hooded cranes, you might think you’re in the wilds of Africa or Asia.
But in rural northern Virginia, little more than an hour from Washington, D.C., you can find all of those animals at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute.
It is home to some of the most endangered animals in the world, including clouded leopards, originally from Thailand.
The institute currently has two clouded leopard cubs, a male and a female, that are a little more than 100 days old.
The population of clouded leopards has been decimated by hunters and poachers who sell their furs. The Smithsonian has bred 80 of the magnificent cats.
“When it comes to all these animals, the one common denominator is loss of habitat,” said Paul Marinari, the biology institute’s senior curator.
Many of the animals at the institute enjoy a level of freedom that is rare in captivity. They are kept in large, open spaces spilling over 3,000 acres. It is a refuge in rural Virginia where some of the world’s most endangered animals are being brought back from the brink of extinction.
Most of the animals come from zoos. Smithsonian researchers study to learn how to breed and rear them in captivity. Some are sent back to zoos but many animals are returned to nature.
The black-footed ferret, one of the most endangered species in North America, had been all but wiped out before a ranch dog found 18 in Wyoming. Marinari said his team captured the solitary, nocturnal animals and brought them into captivity.
“This is our 25th year of having black-footed ferrets,” he said. “They were thought to be extinct several times. … This is one species where we actually have the potential very soon to actually downlist and eventually delist them off the endangered species list.”
The institute has bred and released nearly 8,000 black-footed ferrets from that first group of 18. The Smithsonian currently has month-old, baby black-footed ferrets. They, too, will be released.
“These guys could end up in Arizona. They could end up in Kansas,” Marinara said. “They will be [back] in the wild.”
Duncan Chard/Bloomberg via Getty Images(CHICAGO) -- United Airlines flight #1 from Houston to Chicago arrived in the Windy City on Monday with a new battery and an effort by Boeing to repair its image.
The Dreamliner became a nightmare 114 days ago, when the entire fleet was grounded after two separate incidents in which lithium-ion batteries failed in a smokey mess that left engineers puzzled.
Boeing re-built the battery, encased it in stainless steel, and got the Federal Aviation Administration to sign off on the fix for the 50 aircraft in operation.
On Monday, United Airlines, the only U.S. carrier with 787s, returned the Dreamliner to flight with the Boeing and airline's CEOs on board. "It's absolutely safe," Boeing CEO James McNerney told ABC News on the flight.
United Airlines CEO Jeff Smisek says he is excited to get the aircraft back in service, but kidded his Boeing colleague. "It's an expensive piece of art to keep on the ground," Smisek said.
Boeing had expected to deliver 60 Dreamliners this year. So far only two have been handed over to airlines. The airlines are asking Boeing to reimburse them for some of the cost of keeping the jets on the ground while the battery issue was fixed.
Darren McCollester/Getty Images(BOSTON) -- Among the many unanswered questions about the two Tsarnaev brothers accused of the Boston Marathon bombing is why, days after the attack, they were heading to the suburb of Watertown and its manicured lawns and tulips when police picked up their trail and began a chase.
Investigators want to know what drew the accused bombers to the cluster of side streets in the blue-collar suburb, far from any major thoroughfare, especially if the brothers were on the run after their images had been shown on television by the FBI and after they had allegedly murdered MIT Police Officer Sean Collier.
"It's clear the suspects have connections to Watertown," said Joseph Curatone, the mayor in the neighboring city of Somerville told ABC News. "And it's abundantly clear that investigators are exploring every aspect of those connections as they should."
Some answers may be found in an obscure town parking ticket and a police report from the adjoining suburb of Arlington about a minor case involving open containers of alcohol, law enforcement officials told ABC News.
The parking ticket, obtained by ABC News, was written on a car registered to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev at 2:10 a.m. on February 18, 2011 on the 200 block of Boylston Street.
When the ticket was found in police records during the hunt for the wounded bomber, it sparked an immediate FBI raid on the Boylston street address, which is the home of a friend, Maximilian Freddura, part of a prominent Boston restaurateur family.
Freddura's apartment, where police officials say Dzhokhar was a frequent guest, is a block away from the corner of Laurel and Dexter Streets where police caught up with the Tsarnaev brothers five days after the marathon bombing.
After a chaotic exchange of gunfire that night that included the detonation of several explosives, the older Tsarnaev, Tamerlan, was killed, while his brother Dzkhokhar managed to escape, though injured. Dzkhokhar was captured hours later, hiding in a covered boat.
"Was he headed here? I don't know," Freddura told ABC News last week, referring to Dzhokhar. Freddura attended Cambridge Rindge and Latin, the same high school attended by both Tsarnaevs. "He certainly would not have been welcomed."
During the hunt for the younger Tsarnaev, police raided another residence in neighboring Arlington where the accused bomber had a run-in with police on July 4, 2012, ABC News has learned.
According to the police report obtained by ABC News, Dzhokhar and two other men were seen drinking in another car registered to Dzhokhar, the 1999 Green Honda Civic that investigators believe Dzhokhar drove during the police chase into Watertown.
"In the driver seat was Dzhokar Tsarnaev," the report states.
Dzhokhar was issued a ticket for parking in a restricted area and was released. Another occupant of the car said he was the one drinking and received a $500 fine for having an open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle.
Based on that police report, investigators searched the Arlington block during the manhunt, which is roughly two miles away from the scene of the shootout.
"It was within walking distance, so we hit the house,'' said a law enforcement official involved in the hunt. Arlington Police maintained a presence in the area throughout the time of the manhunt.
It was the second time in three years that the blue-collar suburb appeared to have links to a terror attack.
In 2010, Watertown was the scene of FBI raids after agents learned that Faisal Shahzad, convicted of trying to detonate a car bomb in Times Square, came to the suburb to pick up $5,000 cash from a Pakistani citizen living there, according to federal court records.
The Pakistani, Aftab Ali, was identified by authorities as part of a militant group, Tehrik-e-Taliban, and was deported.
Authorities said they know of no link between the Times Square bomber and the two accused Marathon bombers, other than the coincidental connections to Watertown.
Now, just more than a month after the bombings, windows in the Watertown area where hundreds of bullets were fired and four bombs were lobbed at police remain webbed with bullet holes and marked with FBI tape.
An ATF evidence cone marked "58" rests in a tulip bed. The vinyl siding of several homes is ripped with ricochet rounds.
The street is stained black from a pressure-cooker bomb.
Blood left behind after Tamerlan Tsarnaev was run over by his fleeing brother is still visible on the corner where the chaos was at its height.
Later, residents incorporated the bloodstain in a chalk drawing with the initials "USA" written underneath.