GTE FCU Teller In New Orleans Is Abducted

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The FBI and the New Orleans Police Department are still on the hunt for three men who kidnapped a credit union teller from her home and held her family hostage while forcing her to clean out the safe at a GTE FCU branch, here.

Just blocks from a police department office, a man wearing a fake law enforcement badge and claiming to be investigating a burglary forced his way into the home of a 21-year-old female employee of GTE FCU.

Two armed accomplices followed him inside the home and took control of the woman's four family members in the household, two women ages 18 and 62 and two men ages 42 and 70. One armed suspect stayed behind to hold the family hostage while the other two forced the GTE employee to drive to the branch, open it up and help them take an undisclosed amount of cash.

The employee was then driven back to within a few blocks of her home and released. The two suspects who had abducted her fled in the victim's Toyota Camry. The third suspect, who had remained at the house to keep control of the victim's family released the other household residents and then fled. Neither the victim nor her family was harmed.

The suspects are believed to have been monitoring the CU's opening and closing procedures, as well as the movements of the employee in order to prepare for the crime, as has been the case in similar abduction robberies in the Ohio cities of Toledo and Columbus (where there were a dozen such abductions) as well as one in Racine, Wis. "We have to assume they did that, or else how would they even have known she was a teller," noted FBI Supervisory Special Agent Todd Cox. "When something drastic like this happens, we send up a report to headquarters, and they circulate it to other field offices in case there are similar cases elsewhere."

While arrests have been made in several of the Columbus cases, no arrests have been reported in any of the other credit union cases.In nearly all of the cases, a female employee of either a CU, a check-cashing outlet or a bank has been singled out for the crime.

GTE FCU CEO Bucky Sebastian declined to comment, citing the ongoing investigation.

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