RED OAK - The Red Oak community experienced a tense situation Thursday afternoon after a possible hostage situation was reported at the Wachovia Bank located at 557 Ovilla Road.

“The Wachovia Bank was robbed yesterday afternoon sometime around 2,” said Lori Bailey with the FBI-Dallas Field Office. “Information was provided that there was a hostage situation in the bank.”

The Red Oak Police Department set up perimeter at the bank at the time and contacted the FBI. Various agencies responded to the situation, including the Lancaster Police Department, Ellis County Sheriff’s Office, Department of Public Safety, Dallas Police Department Bomb Squad, the FBI SWAT, FBI bomb technicians and the FBI Safe Street Task Force.

“We responded with our SWAT team and FBI bomb technicians,” Bailey said. “Once it’s determined that there is a potential hostage situation, it has to be treated as such from the beginning to the end.”

At the arrival of authorities, seven people were inside the bank, including customers and Wachovia employees.

“We made contact with individuals of the bank and we were able to extract everyone safely from the bank,” Bailey said. “We determined there was no hostage situation. After we extracted everyone from the bank, we conducted a safety sweep. There was information that there was potentially an explosive device in the bank.”

The FBI did not find any explosive devices in the bank and completed the safety sweep at 5:30 p.m.

As of this morning, the FBI had one male in custody in relation to the robbery.

“We are continuing to investigate the bank robbery to determine the totality of all involved in the robbery,” Bailey said.

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