A midday bank robbery escalated into a tense afternoon Thursday in the rural community of Shellbrook, Sask., where at last report RCMP were engaged in a standoff at a local home.
Official notices from the Mounties have not expanded on the situation, beyond confirming that a Shellbrook bank was the target of a robbery during the noon hour. The RCMP say no one in the bank was injured.
Shellbrook is a community of 1,215 located about 45 kilometres west of Prince Albert, Sask.
People in the town told CBC News that a man with a large knife, possibly a machete, was the main culprit in the bank robbery.
They say he, and another man, then fled to a nearby house.
CBC News was told that the local school was closed and streets were blocked off as RCMP dealt with the situation, although that information was not from official sources.
"They have, like, the crime-scene tape and everything," Karoline Chamryk, a clerk with a confectionery on Main Street, told CBC News late in the afternoon. "The road for this house is, like, blocked off and no one can go down."
The house involved is home to Shellbrook resident Chase Folden, who said he heard about the alarming situation at the same time as Chamryk.
"My step-dad called, and I guess they got called by the cops and said there was an armed robbery at the Scotiabank," Folden said. "Then they said they went, I guess they somehow made it to our house and the last thing I heard they were in the house."
The RCMP media notice confirming there had been a bank robbery was issued at 3:45 p.m. on Thursday. As of 10:45 p.m., there was no update on the situation from the RCMP. Calls to the RCMP media relations office were not returned.