Bank manager carjacked in Durham

December 3, 2008 9:00:00 PM PST
Durham police say a Bank of America branch manager was taking his 13-year-old daughter to school Thursday when his car was bumped from behind by another car driven by alleged carjackers.It happened on Pine Burr Place, off Greyson Drive. That's close to Southern High School.

Durham police investigators say Leslie Person got out of his car to inspect the damage and was confronted by two men and a woman with guns. They stuffed Person's daughter into the trunk of the car they were driving. Then, they left that car and forced Person to drive his Mercedes to the Bank of America he manages at North Duke Street and Horton Road.

Click here for photos

Investigators suspect they planned to force Person to give them money from the safe.

While that was happening, Person's daughter was able to free herself from the trunk of the carjacker's car and flag down a Durham County deputy.

"I think at this point she is a hero because she did what needed to get done for her safety and that of her father," said Durham Police Chieff Jose Lopez

A be on the lookout was broadcast for Person's car over police radio, and Durham officers spotted it outside the bank on Duke Street. They surrounded the building with automatic weapons drawn, and Person walked outside to safety. Officers say at first weren't sure if the suspects were still in the bank, but they had escaped.

Durham police say they may be in a grey or silver colored SUV. They spent the morning searching the area with no luck.

The FBI has now taken over the case from local police, it is has not yet commented on the investigation.

"If they want to take it we don't have a problem going federally especially if that's the best chance for resolution," offered Lopez.

Officers recovered the car the suspects apparently used to get to the Person's house. It has Florida tags, but they aren't sure if the suspects are from there. Person's daughter - who escaped from the trunk of the car - was unhurt. The car was found with the keys in the ignition and the engine running.

Holt Elementary School - which is nearby - was put on lockdown for a short time, but the lockdown was quickly lifted.

Investigators say it's clear that the alleged robbers had done their homework. They had to know that Person was a bank manager, where he lived, and what time the safe could be opened at the Bank of America branch he manages.


Load Comments