SALT LAKE CITY -- Police say a 45-year-old Idaho inmate who escaped from a work-release program and was being sought in connection with the robbery of a Utah bank has taken a woman hostage and barricaded himself in a Salt Lake City hotel.

Joe Dee Stang, who fled from the Idaho Falls Community Work Center on July 3, is a person of interest in Thursday's robbery of a Zions Bank branch in Salt Lake City.

Police have evacuated the area around the Allstar Travel Motor Hotels in the western part of town and are negotiating by phone with the man, who is believed to be armed.

Stang had been serving sentences for burglary and malicious injury to property in Bonneville, Bannock and Bingham counties in Idaho. He would have been eligible for parole in September 2012.