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Bystanders Get Caught Up In Hunt For Bank Robber

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Innocent bystanders handcuffed at the intersection of Iliff and Buckley (credit: CBS)

Innocent bystanders handcuffed at the intersection of Iliff and Buckley (credit: CBS)

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – There were guns drawn in the middle of a busy intersection as bystanders got caught up in the search for a bank robber on Saturday afternoon.

Aurora police arrested a man they are calling a person of interest in the heist. On Monday the FBI called the man an official suspect and said that he acted alone.

Police were looking for a man who robbed the Wells Fargo bank at Hampden and Chambers. The search led them to Iliff and Buckley where they swarmed the intersection.

The Wells Fargo branch stays open until 3 p.m. on Saturdays. Details about the robbery have not been released, but after leaving the bank a man described as a person of interest was corralled about three miles away along with some two dozen innocent people.

At least 15 cars were corralled. Some had small children, shaken by the show of force. Aurora resident Peter Castillo said police didn’t explain what they were looking for when he was pulled from his car.

“I was a little bit scared,” Peter Castillo’s young daughter Alexis Castillo said.

“I was a little concerned. Honestly, I was kind of making sure that they understood that we were being made to be safe,” Peter Castillo said about his children.

Men, women and children were lined up and told to sit on a curb. Police handcuffed the men and some of the women.

“That was a little weird. I think that once they found out some of us had kids they were very good about making sure I was in contact with my kids the entire time,” Peter Castillo said.

About one hour after a careful car-by-car search police apprehended a man. Police filled several bags with items removed from the suspect’s SUV. The FBI said the man was in possession of two guns and a $2,000 money band.

Officers also showed interest to a house nearby. One neighbor told CBS4 it’s been unoccupied for at least four months.

Nobody was hurt, but the two dozen innocent people or so were detained for almost two hours.

The FBI is in charge of the investigation. They have yet to release the identity of the person of interest.

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