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Police and fire

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A hostage rescue vehicle moves into place at the post office at McKinnie Avenue and Hessen Cassel Road.
Hostage fears draw police to post office

Employees hide, OK after robbery

Photos by Cathie Rowand | The Journal Gazette
Police gather Wednesday outside a church near the east-side post office where an armed robbery occurred.

– Four employees were escorted from a Fort Wayne post office Wednesday after hiding for more than two hours from gunmen who had robbed the office, police said.

Shortly after 3:30 p.m., city police responded to reports of an armed robbery at the U.S. Post Office-Diplomat Station at 4171 Diplomat Drive, near McKinnie Avenue and Hessen Cassel Road.

Two men wearing masks and carrying guns entered the post office. The four employees fled to a safe area inside the office, said Raquel Foster, a city police spokeswoman.

At least one customer was also in the post office at the time of the robbery. When police arrived, the customer came out, police said.

As dozens of police cars and emergency personnel continued to arrive, officers were not sure whether the robbers were still inside.

Police set up a command station in the parking lot at New Joshua Full Gospel Baptist Church and sent in several groups of armed officers.

As a precaution, officers closed off the area by stationing police cars at the intersection of Hessen Cassel and Senate Avenue, on Hessen Cassel north of the post office and on McKinnie west of the building.

Shortly before 6 p.m., police entered the post office and searched the building. The two robbers were not inside, and the four employees were led outside to speak with detectives.

There were no reports of shots fired and no injuries were reported. No information was available about what, if anything, was stolen.

Hessen Cassel at McKinnie was closed to traffic until about 6:30 p.m., police said.

No information was available about the two men, who remained at large Wednesday evening.

The robbery remains under investigation by city police and the U.S. postal inspector.

jcrothers@jg.net

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