Man accused of taking Florence store clerk hostage

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FLORENCE, Colo. (AP) -- Florence police have arrested a man accused of breaking into a gas station convenience store and briefly taking its clerk hostage.

Police say Nicholas Colleary Hiltz could face charges including kidnapping and aggravated robbery. His bond has been set at $50,000.

Officers responded to an alarm just before 5 a.m. Monday at the store. Police say a store clerk went to the door and told them everything was fine, but she gestured that someone was inside with a gun. Officers helped her escape.

Police surrounded the area and placed several schools on a two-hour delay to ensure the public's safety.

After a short standoff with Florence police, Canon City police and Fremont County sheriff's deputies, the suspect was taken into custody around 6:30 a.m.

No serious injuries were reported.

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