ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Authorities on Tuesday were looking for a man who robbed a bank in Anchorage while swinging a flaming torch fashioned from a burning T-shirt and a yard-long metal pole. On Monday, the masked robber threatened to set fire to people, including the teller, and burn down the bank building in Fairview if his demands weren't met.

The man stormed the Alaska USA Federal Credit Union branch at about 3:45 p.m., said FBI spokesman Eric Gonzalez. He yelled at customers to get down on the floor.

He fled on foot with an undisclosed amount of money, authorities said. All customers managed to flee the bank, authorities said.

Police later recovered the still smoldering shirt outside the bank.


The robber is described as a black man in his late 20s, about 5-foot, 7-inches tall with a medium build. He was wearing a mask covering part of his face, a tan Carhartt jacket and gray sweatshirt, the FBI said.

Gonzalez said that in his more than 15 years at the FBI in Anchorage he could not recall a robber using a torch as a weapon.

This was the state's first bank robbery this year. All but one of the 17 bank robberies in 2006 were solved.

http://www.bismarcktribune.com/articles/2007/03/06/ap/strange/d8nmtgno3.txt