General Crime

* Woman Held Hostage in Bank Robbery in Hayward

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A man armed with a knife held a woman hostage this morning while attempting to rob a bank in Hayward. Hayward police received a call at around 11:30 a.m. that a silent alarm had been triggered at a Wells Fargo bank located at 1172 A St. Police said the suspect entered the bank and handed the teller a note demanding money and at least one bank teller activated the silent alarm, notifying police of the robbery.

Two detectives in plain clothes who were nearby working on an unrelated investigation arrived at the bank first, police said. A person fleeing the bank advised the detectives that there was a man armed with a knife inside the bank. The detectives saw through the bank’s glass front doors that the man inside was holding a knife to the upper body of a female hostage and that several patrons were lying face down on the bank floor, police said.

The detectives entered the bank with their guns drawn and ordered the suspect to release the hostage and drop his knife, but the suspect refused, police said. One of the detectives, a trained crisis negotiator, tried to talk with the suspect to get him to comply, police said. The female hostage then told the suspect that she had a baby and the suspect let her go and was taken into custody without incident, police said.

The suspect was booked at Hayward police jail, but his identity has not been confirmed or released to the public. During the robbery, the suspect said that he was going to “blow things up” and police requested assistance from the Alameda County sheriff’s bomb sniffing dog to ensure that the property was free of explosives, police said. The female hostage was not injured and was checked at the scene by medical personnel before being released, police said.

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