Update: 12:15 p.m.
An early morning bank robbery prompted a heavy police response, a temporary hold and secure of a nearby elementary school and a coordinated search across Kelowna for a suspect believed to be armed, according to the RCMP in a news release.
On Jan. 31, at 9:58 a.m., RCMP received a report of a robbery just committed at the Scotiabank situated in the 100 block of Highway 33 West in Kelowna. The unknown male suspect entered the financial institution and produced a note, which demanded money. The suspect claimed to be in possession of a gun, however, a firearm was never observed or produced, the release said.
The suspect fled the bank on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash. He was described to police as a Caucasian male, approx. 55 years of age, standing about 5 ft 7 in tall, wearing glasses, with a grey beard. He was last seen wearing a dark red jacket, a grey polo style shirt, a pair of jeans and a grey toque.
“Due to its proximity and as a precaution, South Rutland Elementary school officials were advised to initiate a hold and secure,” states RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey of the Kelowna RCMP.
An area of containment was established by police, who launched a ground search for the suspect, with the support of both plain clothes officers and a police canine team. The suspect remains outstanding at this time as police continue their investigation, supported by the Kelowna RCMP Forensic Identification Section.
“The precautionary hold and secure initiated at South Rutland Elementary School has since been rescinded by police,” adds Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey.
Any witness who has not yet spoke with police, or anyone with any information about the suspect is urged to contact the Kelowna RCMP at 250-762-3300. Or remain completely anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or by leaving a tip online at www.crimestoppers.net.
Update: 11:50 a.m.
According to Const. Kevin Hamilton, there was a robbery at the Scotiabank.
One man came into the bank, asking for cash, then fled the scene.
The police are “looking for anything the suspect may have discarded during the escape,” he said, adding the suspect likely fled on foot.
Reports of police blocking a Scotiabank in Rutland this morning along Highway 33.
RCMP have since entered the building, but witnesses report customers are using the atm inside.
According to the RCMP, the bank is currently closed.
More to come.