Teen trapped in bank vault gets 21 days of home detention

17-year-old faces trespassing charge after breaking into old Hollywood bank

By Peter Burke - Local10.com Managing Editor, Jeff Weinsier - Investigative Reporter

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A teenager who was trapped inside an abandoned bank's vault in Hollywood is now facing a trespassing charge.

The 17-year-old boy appeared in juvenile court Friday morning as a Broward County judge ruled that he serve 21 days of home detention.

Hollywood police Officer Christian Lata said two teens broke into the abandoned Bank of America building at the corner of U.S. Highway 441 and Dewey Street on Wednesday afternoon.

According to a police report, the teen and his friend were looking around when they came across the open bank vault. As the teen was inside the vault, the other teen "started touching buttons on the wall" and the vault door closed.

The teen's friend called 911.

Hollywood fire-rescue and members of the Broward Sheriff's Office's tactical response team worked to open the vault, but in the end, it was two Bank of America employees who came to the rescue. They used to work at the branch, which relocated across the street, and remembered the code to the vault, freeing the trapped teen.

According to the report, the teens said they broke in because they "were bored" and wanted to find something to do.

The owner of the building told police he wanted to press charges.

Trespassing is a misdemeanor charge, but the teen was already on probation.

The teen's 15-year-old friend was not charged.

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