UPDATED 2.23.2011 7:10pm by Julie Montanaro
The credit union is offering a 10-thousand dollar reward for information leading to an arrest.
The Tallahassee Leon Federal Credit Union issued the following statement:
"Tallahassee Leon Federal Credit Union is deeply saddened by the events that took place on the morning of February 21st. Our thoughts are with our employee and their family at this very difficult time.
We ask that our community provide any information available to the proper authorities. We are committed to the apprehension of the criminals responsible for this terrible act.
Our employees are well trained in security and robbery techniques and we have many sophisticated systems in place to prevent and respond to situations like these, but this particular situation was very unique and disturbing."
UPDATED 2.23.2011 7pm by Julie Montanaro
It's a bank heist like no other and it has financial institutions acrossTallahassee on pins and needles tonight.
A credit union employee was kidnapped from his front yard, taken at gunpoint and driven across town to open the vault.
The robbers struck before dawn Monday, but they didn't just walk through the door at Tallahassee Leon Federal Credit Union. Deputies say they laid in wait at a credit union employee's home and forced him to drive clear across town at gunpoint ... to let them in.
"It seems to me like somebody had to have known where he worked, followed him you know. It had to have been planned out. It couldn't have been something random. No way," said neighbor Joshua Holden.
Neighbors on Huckleberry Lane knew there had been a robbery on the block, but were shocked to hear the rest of the story. While one robber drove cross town, the other stayed behind at the man's home and tied up his wife and father with duct tape.
"It's disturbing, really," Holden said.
We asked LCSO Spokesman James McQuaig if they have any idea how they tracked the employee to his home.
"Well, some parts of this investigation are active and ongoing so we cannot discuss that, but we do believe there was a considerable amount of planning that went into this," McQuaig said.
The ordeal ended almost an hour later, deputies say, when the credit union employee was brought back home.
He couldn't open the credit union vault, so the robber made him withdraw money from an ATM instead.
"Sometimes people can watch movies and they can see tv and they think that you're going to go to an institution and you're going to open the safe and there's going to be all this money sitting there and that's not how it is in reality," said Mike Bridges with the League of Southeastern Credit Unions. "The failsafes are there. The security is there."
No one was hurt in the kidnapping and robbery. Perhaps the only other good news is the credit union was closed for President's Day or a whole host of credit union employees could have come face to face with that gun toting robber.
LCSO encourages bank and credit union employees to alter their daily routes to and from work to try to avoid becoming a target.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 850-574-TIPS.
Tallahassee, FL - At approximately 6:30 a.m. on February 21, 2011, an employee of Tallahassee Leon Federal Credit Union was approached by an unknown black male with a gun outside of his residence in the 6200 block of Huckleberry Lane. One suspect entered the residence and bound two additional victims with duct tape while another suspect made the credit union employee drive to the Tallahassee Leon Federal Credit Union located at 1827 Capital Circle North East.
Once they entered the credit union, the victim was ordered to open the vault, but was unable to. The victim ultimately removed money from his personal account by using the ATM. The suspect and the victim then returned to the residence. The suspects took an undisclosed amount of cash and the victim’s car, but abandoned it a short distance from the residence. No one was injured during this incident.
Anyone with information about this incident is requested to contact the Leon County Sheriff’s Office at (850) 922-3300 or Crime Stoppers at (850) 574-TIPS (8477). Remember, Crime Stoppers does not want your name, just your information. You could be eligible for up to a $1,000.00 reward.
Suspect #1 is described as a Black Male, 6’0”, and 200 lbs, wearing a black “Dickies” style shirt, black mask and gloves. (The photo attached is from the credit union’s surveillance system)
Suspect #2 is described as a black male 6’0” – 6’2”, 320 pounds, wearing all black clothing, tan work boots and a camouflage mask.