Bank Robbers May Have Sinister New Scheme

For second time, an employee's family is abducted in Tennessee
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 8, 2015 7:15 PM CDT

(Newser) – An unusual bank robbery took place in Knoxville, Tennessee, yesterday, in which the robbers took the family of a bank employee hostage first, reports ABC News. More troubling: Pretty much the same thing happened in the same area in April. “There are very strong similarities between the two robberies,” an FBI official in Knoxville tells the News Sentinel. “We haven’t determined that positively, but it is a good possibility.” Yesterday's robbery began when two masked men forced their way into the home of SmartBank VP Tanner Harris yesterday morning. The armed men blindfolded Tanner and his wife, and forced both of them into the family car along with their infant son. After driving the family to the bank, they ordered Tanner inside to retrieve cash.

He got the money—authorities didn't say how much—and the robbers then drove off with his wife wife and baby before releasing them unharmed later, reports WBIR. In April, two men and a woman abducted the wife and teenage son of the CEO of the Y-12 Credit Union. In that case, the attempt to extort money from the bank didn't work, and the two hostages were discovered tied up but otherwise unharmed in their car. For now, the FBI is advising bank workers to be extra vigilant and even to vary their routes to and from work. “There’s a good possibility there was some type of surveillance done on this employee prior to the robbery,” the FBI official says of Tanner. (This bank robber claims it was all done in the name of art.)

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