Adelaide CBD locked down in hostage standoff

Police have locked down part of Adelaide's CBD where South Australia's most wanted man, Rodney Clavell, is holed up with at least one potential hostage.

Police swooped on a building on King William Street at about 1am after being tipped off that Clavell, who has been on the run since May 22, was inside.

He is believed to be armed, and with several people who police say cannot leave, although have stopped short of describing as hostages.

It's understood Clavell is holed up at a business called Marilyn's Studio, which is an escort service.

Police have appealed for Clavell, who has had a history of heavy drug use, to surrender amid fears the stand-off could escalate.

South Australia Police Superintendent Peter Harvey, who is in charge of the operation, said authorities wanted to end the stand-off peacefully, and are urging Clavell to answer their phone calls and speak with negotiators who are on the scene.

"Rodney, we know that you have concerns about your safety. The reality is we want to end this peacefully," Supt Harvey said.

"I am here to make sure this ends peacefully."

"All we need is for you to speak to us and come out and everything can end safely this morning."

Supt Harvey said Clavell, who a decade ago was involved in a shoot-out with police, was "probably not making rational decisions" after so many days on the run.

"He's been involved in a siege before where he's been shot by police. His reservations are probably normal," he told ABC TV.

But he said the elite STAR Group police would take all precautions.

"We're not taking any chances. We stand by our claim that we know Rodney is armed - most likely at the minute," Supt Harvey said.

"We have been aware for 14 days that he is armed, so we treat him at the highest level of risk."

He would not confirm if those inside the building were known to Clavell, but described them as "innocent people" who did not "deserve to still be inside".

A warrant was issued for the 46-year-old former prison guard on May 22 in relation to firearm and other matters.

Since then, police have conducted more than 80 raids in their pursuit of the state's most wanted man, before a tip-off lead them to the premises on King William St in the early hours of Thursday.

Police shut down King William St at 1am on Thursday. There is no public access between the block of Halifax Street, Sturt Street, Angas Street, Gouger Street and Wright Street.

In 2004, Clavell used a 12-tonne grader to flee from police. He was shot twice and tasered by STAR Group officers after the 46km chase through the Adelaide Hills.

He served four years in jail.

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