Illinois Cops Search for Robber After Fears of Hostage Situation Doused

An apparent robbery attempt that police feared had turned into a hostage situation ended peacefully Wednesday, but police were still searching for the robber.

Authorities initially feared there were hostages inside the Heritage Community Bank, but when they entered the bank three hours after the robbery was reported, they only found two employees hiding in a downstairs bathroom, said Police Chief Elton McClendon.

Police believe the robber, who got away with an unspecified amount of cash, fled before they arrived, said McClendon.

It started around 11 a.m., when a man wearing a white fleece ski cap entered the bank and announced the robbery, McClendon said. A teller showed him where the money was while customers and employees lay on the floor, then he left, McClendon said.

Police evacuated four to five customers and employees when the incident began, officials said.

McClendon said authorities were able to communicate with the workers hiding in the restroom, who said they believed it was a hostage situation.

Dolton village spokesman Sean Howard said authorities never talked to the robber. After authorities entered and searched the building, they realized the robber wasn't there.