Several KeyBank branches in the Portland area were closed Tuesday after bank officials received word of a possible robbery attempt.

The incident began at 8 a.m. Tuesday, when an employee at a Windham business received a strange text from an unknown number, according to Windham Police Chief Kevin Schofield.

“The text (included) a photo, and it says, ‘Meet me at the KeyBank in Westbrook,’” Schofield said. “The photo itself was a man holding a gun.”

Schofield said the employee contacted Windham police about the text. Police interpreted it as possibly someone with plans to rob or commit violence at a KeyBank branch intending to coordinate with an accomplice, but sending the text to the wrong person by mistake.

“By reading the text, you can’t tell what the intent of the communication was,” Schofield said.

Windham police determined that there is no KeyBank branch in Westbrook, and so the department proceeded to notify police in surrounding communities out of caution, he said. Police also spoke to KeyBank officials, which led them to close several area bank branches Tuesday.

KeyBank Senior Communications Manager Karen Crane said the bank decided to close the branches temporarily based on information it received from police.

“We had received a notification from the local police about a security issue,” Crane said. “It’s several branches, all in the Portland and South Portland area.”

Portland police Lt. Robert Martin said the department also received word from Windham police.

“It talked about a possible robbery today at a KeyBank (branch),” he said. “We did what we had to in Portland, and Windham P.D. is conducting an investigation of the facts.”

Martin said Portland police assisted the bank with additional security Tuesday and that there were no incidents.

Schofield said police believe they have identified the man who sent the text based on his photo and phone number, but they had not yet located him as of 3 p.m. Tuesday. He said police are not releasing the man’s name, and that he is not currently accused of a crime.

“Right now we’re trying to locate this person to ask a few basic questions,” Schofield said. “We don’t believe a crime has been committed.”

Crane said late Tuesday afternoon that the Portland-area KeyBank branches would reopen Wednesday at their normal time. She said there were no incidents Tuesday at any of the locations.

“We closed the branches out of an abundance of caution and respect for our employees and customers,” she said. “We appreciate our customers’ concern and understanding over any inconvenience this may have caused them.”

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