A tense situation in Surrey came to a peaceful end after police surrounded a bank with a suspected armed robber holed up inside.
At approximately 8:30 a.m., police received multiple calls about a robbery in progress at a TD Canada Trust bank in Newton.
Bank staff and customers all managed to get out and Surrey RCMP responded in force, locking down the building and surrounding streets.
Attempts to negotiate with the man went nowhere. More than five hours after the standoff began, heavily armed officers went in and arrested the man. Police say he was hiding out on the upper floor of the bank.
VIDEO: Tense standoff in Surrey
“Throughout the day we made several attempts to communicate with anybody who may be inside,” Surrey RCMP Cpl. Scotty Schumann said. “After receiving no response after hours of trying, eventually our tactical teams … entered. They did find one adult male hiding in the top floor of the bank.”
Roads were closed in the immediate area, including 72nd Ave. from King George Blvd. to 138th St.
After the man was found, police said they were continuing to scour a wide radius around the bank and inside the building to ensure the premises were safe. Officers didn’t immediately locate a weapon after initially receiving reports suggesting the suspect had been armed.
An explosive disposal unit was on scene with a remote-controlled robot equipped with cameras that allow officers to remotely look inside the bank without putting themselves in danger, Schumann said.
“The threat of a bomb never existed,” he said.
Schumann addressed concerns from members of the public who complained police didn’t take action quickly enough.
“These types of files are very complex,” he said. “In this particular incident, we had no reason to rush into the bank.”
Schumann says these kind of incidents are very rare.
“I can’t remember one in recent history,” he said.
– With files from The Canadian Press
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