06/02/2011 11:51 am ET Updated Aug 02, 2011

Man Armed With Bomb Arrested At British Bank After Three-Hour Siege

A man was arrested after a three-hour siege at a bank in Hertfordshire, England where he was carrying a bomb, the BBC reports.

Officers had reportedly been called to the Co-operative Bank on Market Street in Watford at about 10:20 a.m. Thursday after the suspect began threatening to harm members of the staff. When police successfully arrested the man at about 1:45 p.m., they said an explosive device had been found.

"An explosive device of some kind -- as yet we don't know what this is -- has been removed from this individual," a police spokeswoman was quoted by the AFP as saying.

Hertfordshire Police released a statement, quoted by the BBC:

"Safety of members of the public was paramount and a cordon was put in place and people were evacuated from nearby premises.

There will be police activity in the town centre for a while to come. Understandably this caused concern within the community and we would like to thank members of the public for their co-operation in this matter."

Eyewitnesses described the eerie calm that descended on the normally bustling town center. "Police created several tiers of cordon around the bank," Jeffrey Doctors, who works in the area, told London's Evening Standard. "The first we knew about it was policemen shouting for people to evacuate and then they locked down the area."

The police force also said it was supported by specialist firearms experts in the military in making the arrest, the Telegraph reports.