- Police in Pembroke Pines, Florida were called to investigate a pothole in the middle of a road Tuesday night.
- What they first thought was a sinkhole turned out to be a tunnel dug under the road, aimed at a nearby Chase bank.
- The bank was not broken into, but the FBI is treating the incident as an attempted bank robbery.
A routine call about a pothole prompted an FBI investigation into an attempted bank robbery in Pembroke Pines, Florida.
On Tuesday, a worried driver called the Pembroke Pines Public Works Department to report a pothole in the middle of a busy two-way street, FBI Special Agent Michael Leverock said at a Wednesday press conference.
But when workers showed up on the scene to investigate a possible sinkhole, they saw an orange extension cord inside the hole and grew suspicious, so they called police to check it out.
Pembroke Pines Police officers then noticed the entrance to a tunnel in a wooded area nearby, covered with a pallet, which prompted a call to the FBI.
Federal officers discovered that the supposed pothole was part of a tunnel that began in the woods and stretched 50 feet under the road – headed toward a Chase Bank on the other side.
Luckily, the tunnel was incomplete. There was no breach at the bank and no money was stolen. Nevertheless, the tunnel is being investigated as an attempted bank robbery.
“I would say it’s an attempted burglary of the bank. They’re heading toward the ATM, I don’t think they were doing that for any other reason,” Leverock said at the press conference, according to CBS Miami.
According to Leverock, the hole is very small, just two to three feet in diameter.
“You would have to be really small to get in there and it would be very claustrophobic,” Leverock said, according to the Miami Herald. “There’s no way anybody could sit up in there, that’s how small it was.”
Authorities sent a cadaver dog into the tunnel but found no evidence anyone was in the tunnel, either alive or dead.
“We did not find a body in the hole,” Leverock said, according to Local 10 News. “We don’t know who is behind this at this time. They could have been here a week ago, last night. We don’t know at this time.”
At the site they found a pair of muddy boots, a small homemade ladder and stool, digging tools, a winch, a wagon, and a small Honda generator, CBS Miami reported.
Leverock said whoever was building the tunnel was using pickaxes and a small wagon, and then hauling the earth out of the tunnel.
“They could have been doing this for months. This was not an overnight thing,” Leverock said.
According to CBS Miami, the FBI believes the tunnel collapsed due to rain over the last few days.
The FBI is asking for anyone with information on the tunnel to call 754-703-2000.
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