A man robbed the Bank of America branch at 51st Street and Elliot Road Friday morning, but he didn't get far before a security device in the stolen money ignited, leaving a trail of red smoke.
Kitty Pesetsky was driving to work when she saw the bizarre seen unfold.
"He was just running across the street with this trail of smoke coming out of his pocket," said Pesetsky, who works at the Ahwatukee Foothills News.
Details were still sketchy, but apparently the man presented a note to a bank teller around 9 a.m. and then ran across 51st Street towards the McDonald's restaurant, where deputies discovered the remains of the cash wrapper.
No weapons were involved and no one was injured.
The suspect is described as a Hispanic male around 5 feet 8 inches tall wearing a gray knit cap, sweat shirt and baggy pants.
The bank is in a county island and the investigation is being conducted by the Maricopa County Sheriffs Office and the FBI.
In December, a nearby Wells Fargo Branch north of Elliot Road on 51st Street was also robbed.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crimestop at (602) 262-6151.