In a span of less than five minutes, a Berkeley man allegedly went from citizen to criminal to captured crook after a brazen “holdup” bank robbery Thursday morning on Edgewater Boulevard.
Just after 9 a.m., Antoine Drake, 43, allegedly entered the Citibank location in a black mask with a handgun and demanded that everyone get on the floor. After grabbing an undisclosed amount of money from tellers, he fled from the scene in a white Toyota Rav4, police said.
He was soon spotted and fled into a Safeway parking lot after driving north on Edgewater Boulevard. He attempted to run, according to police, but was caught and arrested.
“Within 90 seconds [of the robbery], employees were on the phone,” said Foster City police Capt. Matt Martell. “Within 90 seconds, officers saw the vehicle. They gave a short pursuit … and another 90 seconds later he was in custody. It was textbook.”
Drake collided with a number of vehicles when he entered the market parking lot, and one bystander had to be treated for minor injuries, police said.
During the struggle to arrest Drake, Martell said, a car window was shattered and the arresting officer cut his hand on a piece of broken glass that required a brief hospital visit.
The gun used in the robbery — and the stolen money — was found in Drake’s vehicle, and he admitted to detectives that he had been involved in the crime, police said. He also offered up that he was on parole and ran because he knew he would be going back to prison if caught, possibly for life.
Although he denied being involved in any other recent robberies, Martell said the department contacted the FBI and all local law enforcement agencies to check if any of the other crimes were committed by the 6-foot-4-inch, 230-pound
“He has denied that he was involved in any other bank robberies,” Martell said, “but bank robberies are crimes committed by someone who follow a very predictable pattern, and it’s unusual for people to be caught on their first one.”