Police in Surrey, B.C., take man into custody after standoff at bank

SURREY, B.C. -- An hours-long standoff outside a bank in Surrey, B.C., ended Tuesday after police entered the building and brought out a man in handcuffs.

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An Emergency Response Team officer escorted the man toward a police truck at around 2:20 p.m., six hours after officers responded to multiple calls about an attempted robbery.

The man appeared to be in his 20s or 30s, was wearing a blue plaid shirt and came out with his head down. A crowd gathered at a nearby intersection applauded.

Surrey RCMP said in a statement that a male suspect had been arrested without incident and no one else was found inside the building.

"Officers remain on scene clearing the building and maintaining a perimeter around the building for public safety. Investigators continue to gather evidence and speak to potential witnesses."

Police arrived at the bank in the Newton area at about 8:30 a.m., and found staff and customers already outside.

RCMP Cpl. Scotty Schumann said officers were unsure at that time if someone was still inside because nobody could say with certainty if the suspect had left.

Witnesses reported that a man indicated he had a weapon but police have not confirmed if one existed.

Businesses and roads were shut down surrounding the TD Canada Trust branch at a shopping plaza.

Yellow police tape blocked off every entrance to the bank, with cruisers parked at wide intervals. Officers were stationed on the rooftop of a nearby building.

Police used loudspeakers to try and communicate with anyone in the building but had no response.

Just before 2 p.m., six Emergency Response Team officers entered the building in single file with a police dog in tow.

Patricia Merritt, who's been a local resident for more than 20 years, said she was relieved after watching the man with a slender build being escorted from the bank.

"I was hoping it would end peacefully, but I'm sad to see it's a young man -- another youth."

"Newton -- we were talking about the good old days -- when we used to walk from one end of Newton to the other without worries. And now to see our little Newton become unsafe, it's pretty sad."

Rhonda Kerr and her daughter Tiarra Kerr were passing through a bus loop next to the bank around 8:30 a.m., when police began surrounding the area. They believed they spotted two people inside the bank peer through a large window, then quickly pull the blinds shut.

"It was plain as day. Everybody said the same thing -- 'Did you see them in there?"' Rhonda Kerr said.

"Then you saw all the police come in, cop car after cop car. Shortly after that we saw the SWAT team and command centre arrive and set up."

Just before noon, she said she heard police make announcements over a megaphone, saying, "The place is surrounded, come out with your hands up or we will come in."

Tiarra Kerr said that about 10 minutes later an officer made a second announcement: "Somebody is calling the bank now. Please pick up the phone so we can establish communication so we can see what you need."

After watching police bring out the man, she said she was happy that no one was hurt.

"I'm happy that it ended peacefully. Happy it didn't end in gunfire."



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