Bank burglary suspect who fell through roof linked to second San Francisco heist

A suspected bank burglar who reportedly fell through the ceiling of an apartment while fleeing police last week also is being charged with a similar break-in three days earlier in the Bayview district.

On Tuesday, 33-year-old John Franklin pleaded not guilty to two counts of commercial burglary and resisting arrest in connection with Friday’s botched heist at the Bank of America on San Bruno Avenue in the Portola district and the similar theft Tuesday at the US Bank at Third Street and Palou Avenue.

Surveillance video connected Franklin to both burglaries, police said.

A brave resident of the apartment that Franklin allegedly fell into Friday is being credited for trapping the suspect in a bedroom until police arrived.

The incident unfolded about 3:45 a.m. when police received a call from a bank alarm company about a break-in at the Portola bank. Franklin could be seen on a live feed attempting to pry into an ATM inside the bank with a crowbar, police said.

The suspect had apparently entered the bank by removing a roof vent.

During the subsequent search, Franklin was finally found in the crawl space of an apartment’s attic.

The resident told police he awoke to the sound of sirens, then a loud crash in a bedroom. When the resident opened the door to that bedroom, police said, Franklin attempted to run past him.

However, the resident slammed the door, locking in Franklin.

Franklin’s method of operation during Tuesday’s heist was reportedly similar to Friday’s incident, police said. There were pry marks on the door leading to the roof and on the vault inside the Bayview bank, police said.

Court records show that $1,000 worth of coins and a white bag filled with $20 worth of emergency items were taken, and $1,600 in damage was done to the bank.

Franklin is being held on $100,000 bail and is expected to appear in court Oct. 7 for a preliminary hearing, Assistant District Attorney Alex Bastian said.

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