Two schools in the Allen Independent School District were put on alert Wednesday while police searched the area for three armed bank robbers, officials say.
Allen police said the Bank of Texas on the 700 block of Watters Road was robbed at about 9:45 a.m. Wednesday by three men who entered the bank and demanded cash.
Witnesses told police they saw the three men, carrying one long gun and possibly two hand guns, stage themselves outside of the bank, pull hoods over their heads and enter the bank.
Once inside, the men ordered employees to the floor and entered the vault. An undisclosed amount of cash was taken from the vault, a large amount of which was dropped in the lobby.
Following the robbery, the men ran to their getaway car, spilling money in a grassy area outside of the bank along the way. Their getaway vehicle, a damaged gray-blue 4-door Toyota, was found a short time later in the alleyway of a nearby neighborhood by police, who said the vehicle had been reported stolen out of Dallas.
Two nearby schools, Norton Elementary School at 1120 Newport Drive and Ereckson Middle School at 450 Tatum Drive, locked their doors while police searched the area. Though the doors were locked and access to the campus was restricted, district officials said the schools in the search area were not technically locked down and that there was no change in school activities.
Shortly after 12:30 p.m., the extra security measures were canceled, the district said.
Allen police have offered up only a vague description of the men, but did say witnesses reported the men were speaking a foreign language that was not Spanish.
Police activity has been reported near Bel Air Drive and Madera Court, with officers blocking the entrance to the neighborhood at Bel Air and W. Bethany Drive. A Texas Department of Public Safety helicopter is assisting in the search.
The FBI has arrived at the bank to assist in the investigation.
Police said the robbery may have been related to an incident that occurred in Plano in March and another in Flower Mound in January.
Anyone with information about the robbery is asked to call the Allen Police Department Criminal Investigation Division at 214-509-4239. Tipsters may remain anonymous by using TIP/411 or by texting their tip to 847411 with keyword ALLENPD along with their tip.
Editor's Note: An initial report from Allen police said the robbery took place at 10:20 p.m. In a later statement from police, that time was changed to 9:47 a.m.