The Smith County Sheriff’s Office apologized to a senior couple after a SWAT team drove to their Henderson County home in an armored vehicle to execute an arrest-and-search warrant in connection to a bank robbery for which officers ultimately determined the couple was not responsible.
The sheriff’s office said investigators in the department and the FBI received information about the whereabouts of a possible suspect in the June 10 robbery of the First National Bank of Winnsboro’s Winona-Owentown branch at Texas 155 and U.S. 271.
The sheriff’s office said a woman immediately came out of the house after hearing a SWAT officer on a loudspeaker and told officers her husband was sleeping inside.
The woman’s husband came out a few minutes later, and officers determined he was not the suspect involved in the robbery, according to the sheriff’s office.
The woman provided investigators with an alibi as to her husband’s whereabouts during the robbery.
Officers stopped the operation immediately after determining the residents were not involved in the robbery, the sheriff’s office said.
The sheriff’s office said the decision to use the SWAT team and a loudspeaker-equipped armored vehicle was based on the suspect’s threat to use explosives during the robbery and for the safety and security of the suspect and law enforcement officers executing the warrant.
A state district judge in Smith County issued an arrest-and-search warrant for a home and vehicle in Henderson County after being presented with an affidavit that included photographs of the suspected bank robber and a driver’s license photo of the possible suspect, according to the sheriff’s office.
The judge signed the warrant shortly after 8 p.m. June 11, a day after the robbery, according to the sheriff’s office.
The Smith County Sheriff’s Office said the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office was notified of the operation and kept apprised of the investigation.
Apologies were made to the residents and several neighbors, the sheriff’s office said.
Henderson County Sheriff Botie Hillhouse said he was aware of the operation and had units on the scene when the search warrant was executed.
The robbery at the First National Bank of Winnsboro’s Winona-Owentown branch remains under investigation. No suspects had been apprehended as of Wednesday evening.
Anyone with any information about the robbery is asked to call the Smith County Sheriff’s Office at (903) 566-6600.