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Police: Bank robber’s bomb threat led to evacuations

UPDATED: Tue., Nov. 29, 2011, 4:58 p.m.

A suspected robber arrested inside a downtown Spokane bank this afternoon falsely told officers there was a bomb inside the building, leading to road closures and evacuations at nearby offices, police say.

Suspect Shawn. P. Hoffman, 31, was arrested at Banner Bank, 802 W. Riverside, after Detective Paul Lebsock, wearing plain clothes, held him at gunpoint until other officers could respond to the 1:25 p.m. hold-up call, according to the Spokane Police Department.

“That was good work by the Spokane Police Department,” said Frank Harrill, agent in charge of the FBI’s Spokane office.

Police evacuated the bank and closed Riverside Avenue from Lincoln to Wall streets. Bomb technicians and the U.S. Marshal’s bomb dog did not find anything suspicious.

Hoffman was booked into Spokane County Jail on a first-degree robbery charge.