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UPDATE: Albertville Premier Bank Robbed at Gunpoint

Wright County Sheriff's Department and the FBI are searching for the gunman, who is described as a white male.

UPDATE 9:15 p.m. Local authorities are working with police departments in Richfield, Shakopee and Northfield, comparing notes on recent bank robberies in that area. The suspect described in four robberies/attempted robberies is very similar in all cases. 

The FBI has NOT confirmed that they believe it is the same man at this time.

UPDATE 2:45 p.m. The Wright County Sheriff's Department has released information about the robbery, which occurred at 12:47 p.m. in Albertville.

According to a witness report, the suspect is a white male, approximately 5 feet, 7 inches to 6 feet tall, and was wearing a ski mask at the time of the holdup.

He fled on foot.

The man did display a handgun, and made off with an undisclosed amount of cash.

UPDATE 2:30 p.m. Bus routes for the primary and elementary schools will be starting soon as they start releasing students. Middle school and high school routes will start as close to their scheduled dismissal time as possible. 

• • •

At about 1 p.m. Wednesday, Premier Bank of Albertville was robbed at gunpoint.

Wright County Sheriff's Department and the FBI are searching on the ground and from a helicopter for the gunman.

All schools in the district are currently on lockdown and will remain so until they have word from authorities. The buses were just released from the bus barn and will be waiting to transport students home. Until authorities have lifted the lockdown, they will not be leaving, nor can students be picked up.

Expect after-school delays.

Update at 2:06 p.m.: All school buses were searched prior to leaving the bus barn because the suspect did leave the bank on foot.

"Three people were working inside the bank, everyone is OK. We were robbed at gunpoint, but the important thing is that everyone is OK," an executive at Premier Bank, who asked not to be identified, said this afternoon. "Ironically, we just had security training on how to stay safe in a robbery with Wright County this morning."

JP November 09, 2011 at 09:02 PM
Yes, thanks for the info Patch! You are becoming my first stop for news in the area!
Mike Schoemer (Editor) November 09, 2011 at 09:03 PM
323 - I'm assuming the FBI will release those images when they become available. They JUST released the Richfield Bloomington Credit Union shots from earlier today. So maybe tonight or early tomorrow?
kneeo November 09, 2011 at 09:08 PM
Yes, thanks Patch! This was my first stop after I got the robocall.
Craig Rens November 09, 2011 at 09:14 PM
Nice work, Patch staff!
JK November 09, 2011 at 09:16 PM
After receiving the cryptic alert from the school, I went to the 3 big local tv stations' websites and found nothing about what was going on at home. Then I remembered the Patch. Thanks for bringing the info to us first, and keeping us updated!
Stacie November 09, 2011 at 09:19 PM
Yes thank you, and feel free to edit any crazy bloggers that start going off on random tangents on unrelated issues. This is the first place I went when I got the call.
Jay Bjork November 09, 2011 at 09:21 PM
Ditto to all the Kudos above. Ironically, I just found Patch this morning when I googled for the election results. Thanks for all the updates. Well done!
323 November 09, 2011 at 09:22 PM
Is there a way to make replies to a thread more like a tweet update? meaning not numerous emails that say someone has replied. Tends to be inefficient. Like this site for news.
Mike Schoemer (Editor) November 09, 2011 at 09:24 PM
Good idea. If you want to stop following --- there's a little green envelope at the bottom of the story that says 'stop following." Then you won't get the emails.
Jennifer Saxe November 09, 2011 at 09:25 PM
GREAT JOB PATCH!!! I was in Maple Grove when I got the robo call on my cell. I immediately went to the Patch app on my phone and found out what was going on. Also a big thumbs up to Dist 885 for making the safety of our children a top priority, and for keeping the parents informed!
Mindy Zavodnick-Stollenwerk November 09, 2011 at 09:26 PM
The Patch did an excellent job informing our community of what happened today in our neck-of-the-woods. As a mom with one child in school and another at home with me today, the original call from the school only sent me into panic mode. I logged onto Patch and was immediately relieved to know more details about this bizarre incident. Thank you!!!! Keep up the good work.
Larry Sorensen November 09, 2011 at 09:33 PM
Samara and Mike -- Excellent job reporting this as well as election results last night. Patch is a valuable means of communication for our cities. Keep up the great work!
Trish November 09, 2011 at 09:48 PM
I did the same thing, check the big television stations' web pages and nothing. Then I went to the Patch! All the info I needed! Now always my first stop for local news! Great job Patch! Also, thanks to 885 for their work too!
Tracey Westendorp November 09, 2011 at 09:51 PM
District 885 and Wright Cty--Thank for keeping our children safe, and parents as informed as possible. Patch, you did a great job elaborating on the "Breaking News" so parents at accross the metro were able to get up the minute details. I check the Patch daily on my phone and am happy to have a valuable resource for relevant STMA news. Thank you, STMA community!
Amanda Stuve November 09, 2011 at 10:04 PM
Thanks for the continuous updates. I missed the first robo call and shortly after I received an email with the same info, it was great. I am very thankful to live in a community with such great communication. Thanks bunches to the Patch
Farmington WAMH November 09, 2011 at 10:13 PM
Thank you to STMA for a prompt response in keeping our children safe and to Patch.com for keeping residents up to date. We are blessed to live in this community.
Sara November 09, 2011 at 10:32 PM
Wish the school district would have released as much information as the patch did. I was a panicked parent wondering what was going on. If you can release the info about the robbery why couldn't they have told us that as well? I am glad Wright County and the School District made the decision to keep our kids safe but give us more information than just the school is in safe mode until further notice. All kinds of thoughts and fears run through our heads! Obviously sharing a little more information couldn't have hurt here. Also by getting to all these households by robo call it could keep residents safer too. I might have shut my garage door and locked my front door knowing someone is on foot and they have a gun!
Genuinely Curious November 09, 2011 at 10:54 PM
Folks, keep in mind that the district is likely limited on the specifics they can release due to liabilities, the information available, and the quickly changing nature of the events. The district did an excellent job in their capacity as a school district doing what they could alerting parents, and the Patch did an equally excellent job in their capacity as a journalism organiztion doing what they could to report the news.
Albertville Resident November 10, 2011 at 02:42 AM
Thank you Patch for keeping us up to date with info. The schools did what they were supposed to do. But, I was EXTREMELY disappointed in how they handled the confusion with bus times. The message first received said that buses were "on their normal schedule" which we got when my kids should have been home. Then another message came stating that they were going to be 35 - 45 minutes late. My kids got off their bus 20 minutes later than their normal time and I wasn't there because the school misdirected me. They need to figure out how to fix this problem especially when there is an armed bank robber on the loose. No one knows that he wouldn't go into a residential area. Are criminals really that predictable to guarantee the safety of our children? Their process needs to be looked at and evaluated so this confusion with transportation NEVER happens again.
Mike Schoemer (Editor) November 10, 2011 at 02:58 AM
Albertville Resident - I can tell you from being on the scene and being on the phone with the district much of the afternoon (off and on) - the district was at the mercy of the authorities. Until the buses were searched and cleared, they couldn't go. Who knew how long that would take. I have to defend the district here. They played by the FBI and MSHP rules.
tracy November 10, 2011 at 03:57 AM
my daughter walks home from school and i dont think they should have allowed the kids to walk/bike home from school. they should have made them take the bus or wait until parents could pick them up. my daughter probably wouldnt have walked home had she known what was going on.
David November 10, 2011 at 01:09 PM
Is it time for a local police force? Although Sheriffs Dept does a great job I can't help think about what if we had one. Would their street presence deterred this from happening?
Happy in St. Michael November 10, 2011 at 01:51 PM
While I am thankful they locked down the schools and took extra precaustions, I agree with Laura, JK, and Mindy about the school district's robo call being HORRIBLE. I understand they probably couldn't say there was bank robbery, but they should have said "There was an incident at an Albertville (or local) business that wasn't a direct threat to students..." The cryptic message makes people jump to conclusions, even though the message seemed to imply that it wasn't something like a kid with a gun on campus. A little more info would have made for less confusion. I feel bad for those who work so far away from the area and felt uncertain about what would happen.
Mike Schoemer (Editor) November 10, 2011 at 03:27 PM
David - Judging by the consternation over the school levy referendum, I'd guess people wouldn't be willing to pay the taxes necessary to start and fund a police force. I don't have the exact numbers in front of me, but I know the three communities in Wright County that DO NOT contract with the sheriff's department pay considerably more on the police line item in their annual budget. Bob Derus would be a good person to ask for that exact information as he's weighed that out before. It would mean an increase in our General Levy. And if one community did make that move, it would be St. Michael, not Albertville.
Joy K November 10, 2011 at 03:40 PM
I do find it interesting that the major news outlets either didn't cover this story or gave it 15 seconds on the 5, 6, 9 or 10 news. Apparently we don't exist out here.
Mike Schoemer (Editor) November 10, 2011 at 03:44 PM
We think you exist. That's why we're here.
Albertville Resident November 10, 2011 at 06:46 PM
I agree with what they did, just not how they handled communicating the change in bus schedules. By not being more accurate there were a lot of kids that were dropped off without any parents at bus stops. Don't you agree that this could be very dangerous since their was a gunman on the loose? No one can predict what could have happened. I just wish they would have been more accurate so that the safety of the children could have been better protected.
Nat November 11, 2011 at 06:31 AM
just an fyi, with all the peeps and their smartphones out there, there is an app you can download called scanner radio, it's a police radio. And I was listening to it all and knew about it before the robo call went out! We were at coburns when we saw all the commotion, so when I got home, turned it on to wright county, and heard it all:) Of course I checked the patch later too for updates!!
Becky November 11, 2011 at 12:35 PM
what is the app called?
Nat November 11, 2011 at 02:13 PM
I just searched for scanner radio and used the one by Gordon Edward :)

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