How many hostages left inside Wells Fargo in Minnesota? 4 captives released as FBI negotiates with bank robbers

Till 8 pm CT, four hostages were released from the bank. The FBI are still convincing the bank robbers to release others trapped inside the establishment


                            How many hostages left inside Wells Fargo in Minnesota? 4 captives released as FBI negotiates with bank robbers
A scene from the Wells Fargo hostage situation (Danny Spewak/Twitter)

UPDATE: After more than eight hours at the hostage-taking standoff, FBI officers rushed in and apprehended the Black male suspect alive.

 



 

ST CLOUD, MINNESOTA: A couple of bank employees are being held hostage at a Wells Fargo bank, stemming from an attempted robbery, according to the bank and law enforcement officials. St Cloud police were called to the location at 2 pm CT on Thursday, May 6 at 200 33rd Avenue following reports of an active and ongoing robbery. There were no injuries reported at the time, according to investigators and the FBI is assisting authorities with the investigation. 

“We can confirm a hostage situation at Wells Fargo’s St. Cloud South branch, located at 200 33rd Avenue South," Staci Schiller, Wells Fargo spokesperson said. "We are cooperating with local law enforcement and will do whatever we can to assist the authorities in their investigation. We recognize this is a traumatic moment for the community and our colleagues. The safety and security of our customers and employees is our most important priority," she added. 

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How many hostages are trapped inside Wells Fargo Bank?

The hostages have been inside since about 1:45 pm Thursday, May 6, afternoon. At 5:30 pm CT, the FBI, and police began negotiations for the release of the captives. Police at the time said there was an undisclosed number of bank employees that were being held hostage inside the bank. An hour later at least one hostage was released from inside of the bank and a report confirmed it was a female employee who walked out of the door with her hands up. Watch the video here.

At around 7:03 pm, the hostage takers released another female hostage from the bank and around 7:52 pm a male employee walked out of the building. Another hostage was released from the bank at 8 pm. It was a female employee. Police have advised locals to avoid the location as they are trying to negotiate the release of others trapped inside with the help of the FBI.  

Journalists on the scene report the presence of armored vehicles and squad cars from St Cloud, Sartell and Sauk Rapids police and the Stearns County Sheriff's Office. 



 

 

The last known robbery at Wells Fargo dates back to 1983 when an armed security guard apparently drugged two co-workers and fled with $7 million in cash. The suspect was identified as Victor Manuel Gerena, 25, of Hartford, a guard with Wells Fargo who had been employed with Wells Fargo since May 1982. The FBI was called into the case.

Victor Manuel Gerena (FBI)

 

A preliminary audit revealed that the total taken money was $7,017,151 in bills of all denominations, according to the West Hartford police. Eighteen hours after the heist, Gerena's car was found abandoned eight miles away from the location but none of the money was found. Wells Fargo offered rewards totaling $350,000 if the robber was arrested, convicted for the crime, and the money was recovered. 

It was later discovered that Gerena was a part of the terrorist group 'Los Macheteros' that wanted independence for Puerto Rico from the US. With the money from the robbery, the group purchased a surface-to-air missile and launched it at the FBI headquarters in San Juan, Puerto Rico on October 30, 1983. Little to no damage was done and nobody was injured during the attack. Many of Gerena's co-conspirators were arrested but he hasn't been arrested.  

This is a developing story.