Police say the presence of an abandoned backpack containing a toy gun in the lobby of a Butte bank caused employees to momentarily put the institution on lockdown Monday afternoon.
Undersheriff George Skuletich said police received a call around 2:30 p.m. from the employees of Heritage Federal Credit Union, 2101 Yale Ave., who said that a man walked into the bank, behaved erratically and left behind a backpack in the lobby before leaving the facility.
Employees inspected the backpack, the undersheriff said, where inside they discovered cellphone chargers, a can of Steel Reserve and an airsoft rifle, which Skuletich said are often mistaken for real guns.
The bank was put on lockdown until officers arrived, which was less than 5 minutes later, Skuletich said.
Officers later apprehended Kristopher Lehto, 26, of Butte, in the parking lot of the Massachusetts Avenue Safeway. Skuletich said the 26-year-old matched the description given by bank employees, and was allegedly spotted by officers emerging from the store carrying away $750 worth of items he did not pay for.
Lehto was arrested and taken to Butte county jail, where he remained Tuesday morning on a shoplifting charge. He has not been charged with anything related to the bank incident because he did not make any threats, the undersheriff said.