FBI investigating underground tunnel leading to Pembroke Pines bank

PEMBROKE PINES, FLA. (WSVN) - Federal authorities and Pembroke Pines Police are investigating an underground tunnel discovered below a street that leads to a Chase bank.

The FBI was called in after a hole was discovered in a road near the drive-thru ATMs of the bank near Flamingo Road and Pines Boulevard, just before noon, Wednesday.

“It’s a tunnel. It was going towards the bank for sure,” said FBI Special Agent Mike Leverock. “I would like to say I saw something like this in movies. However, this hole is so small that, yeah, it’s unique.”

7Skyforce HD flew over the scene where a police K-9 could be seen around the hole.

Officials said the tunnel starts in a wooded area not too far from the bank.

“We traced the hole from the wood line, practically 50 yards, until it hits the bank,” said Leverock. “They’re heading towards the ATM. I don’t think they were doing that for any other reason.”

Police initially responded to the scene after a driver reported seeing a pothole in the road.

“At that time, they called Pembroke Pines Police Department, who showed up, went to the wood line and noticed the entrance of what looked like a tunnel,” Leverock said.

Officials sent a dog into the tunnel for a closer look and followed the tunnel as far as they could.

An electric jackhammer was eventually discovered.

“Usually, you use equipment to do that. These people were using pickaxes and a small little wagon,” Leverock said.

Federal authorities believe the wagon was being used to haul dirt from inside the tunnel towards the exit to make more room.

The tunnel is said to be very tight with less than two feet of space.

Cindy Lettiere, a resident in the area, told 7News the scene looked like something out of a movie.

“This is pretty genius, if you think about it, and this is in my backyard,” Lettiere said.

Agents explored the tunnel all day Wednesday and continued into the night.

“It looks like they were pretty close. I mean, they’re saying that the hole is still going,” said Lettiere. “They haven’t stopped yet, and they’re still going with it, so it’s unbelievable.”

It is unknown if the tunnel was recently created.

Despite police tape around the hole and an ongoing investigation, the bank reopened for business on Thursday morning.

If you have any information on this tunnel, call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $3,000 reward.

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