Police move quickly to foil bank robbery

San Francisco police Friday arrested two suspected bank robbers just hours after they allegedly staged a takeover-style robbery in The City's Sunset District.

At about 1:45 p.m., two men walked into the Bank of America at 800 Irving St. The hooded men vaulted over the counter, and brandishing a semi-automatic weapon, demanded cash, said police spokesman Neville Gittens.

They took an undisclosed amount of money and walked out the front door, Gittens said. The bank was open at the time, but police did not say how many people were inside.

Police responded to the bank's alarm, Gittens said, and investigated the scene.

“Based on information provided [at the bank] and other leads, [police] developed information that the suspects could possibly have been at a location in the 1300 block of 40th Avenue,” Gittens said.

Police set up a command post nearby and sent in a tactical unit — the San Francisco Police Department's version of a Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team, Gittens said.

The team surrounded the residence and arrested one of the suspects at about 2:10 p.m.

The second suspect was arrested shortly after 3 p.m. after police tracked him to a residence near the intersection of Santiago Street and Great Highway.

There are several styles of bank robbery, Gittens said. “You can have the style where the guy just walks up to the teller and produces a note. In a takeover, you to take control of all the movements in the bank.”

Gittens described the two suspects as black males, living in San Francisco.

“It was a good coordinated effort that officers were able to take these suspects into custody in such a quick and efficient manner,” Gittens said.

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