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Dallas officer accused of planning June robbery

A Dallas police officer helped plan a June robbery in which he was taken hostage as part of a ruse, police said Tuesday.

Alph Coleman was arrested Tuesday and has been placed on administrative leave during the investigation into the robbery at a Sam's Club, said Lt. Vernon Hale, police spokesman.

The store is located at 2900 W. Wheatland Road in southwest Dallas. The area is south of the intersection of U.S. 67 and Interstate 20.

Coleman, Hale said, was working off-duty security in his police uniform June 27 at the store when an "unknown suspect wearing a face mask entered the store and took him hostage during an attempt to rob the business."

"The robbery failed when other employees barricaded themselves inside of a storage room," Hale said. "The officer was later escorted out of the store and reportedly was involved in an exchange of gunfire with the suspect prior to his escape."

Hale declined to give details about the investigation but he did note that "evidence has been obtained implicating Officer Coleman in the planning and execution of the attempted robbery."

Hale said Coleman would be charged with aggravated robbery.

"There have been no other persons charged in connection with this case although the investigation is ongoing," he said in a news release.