DETROIT (WWJ) – Police surrounded a strip mall in southwest Detroit after an early morning break-in on Friday.

The situation unfolded near Southwest Discount Pharmacy on Vernor Highway, between Livernois Avenue and Junction Street.

Police say they received a call about a potential burglary at the pharmacy around 6 a.m., but when officers arrived on the scene, the suspect seemingly disappeared.

Fearing the suspect might be hiding inside the pharmacy or another business in the shopping center, police locked down the area and called in the SWAT team.

Around 9:30 a.m., officers toting guns and K9 units were seen entering the pharmacy. About an hour later, they exited the building.

Reporting live from the scene, WWJ’s Mike Campbell said police nearly cleared the building without finding the suspect.

“They believe now that perhaps that person got out before the building was sealed,” he said. “They are continuing the search, but they did not find a suspect in the building.”

Police believe the crook broke in through what used to be a bank, located next door to the pharmacy.

Investigators are now focusing their search efforts on the surrounding neighborhoods.

A description of the suspect was not immediately available. An investigation is ongoing.

Stay with WWJ Newsradio 950 and for the latest.

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