San Francisco deputy sheriff charged in bank robbery

Beth Laberge/Special to the S.F. ExaminerAwkard: Robbery suspect Philip Chun Tong

Beth Laberge/Special to the S.F. ExaminerAwkard: Robbery suspect Philip Chun Tong

A deputy sheriff who filed for bankruptcy last summer has been charged with robbing an Outer Richmond district bank this month.

Philip Chun Tong, 36, of Pacifica, faces counts of robbery and second-degree burglary in connection with the Nov. 7 heist at the Bank of America at 3701 Balboa St.

Tong, who works in the custody division at the Sheriff’s Office, was reportedly arrested Friday morning at one of The City’s county jails on Seventh Street. He is now in custody in the building he used to work in.

The deputy entered the bank at 4:47 p.m., handed a teller a note and walked out with $1,700 in cash, prosecutors said Friday. The note stated Tong had a weapon, police said, but no weapon was seen.

Tong became a suspect after police investigators reportedly found his fingerprints on the note. An SFPD inspector then obtained a current photograph of Tong and matched it to the robber, who was filmed by the bank’s security cameras.

Tong has been with the department since September 2005, sheriff’s spokeswoman Susan Fahey said, and will be placed on unpaid leave because he was charged with felonies.

The Sheriff’s Department would not comment further on the case.

District Attorney George Gascón called Tong’s alleged actions “deplorable.”

“San Franciscans expect the men and women in uniform to uphold the laws and protect our residents,” Gascón said in a statement.

Tong had reportedly filed for bankruptcy in July.

maldax@sfexaminer.com

Bay Area NewsCrimeCrime & CourtsGeorge GasconLocal

Just Posted

For years, Facebook employees have identified serious harms and proposed potential fixes. CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg have rejected the remedies, causing whisteblowers to multiple. (Eric Thayer/The New York Times)
Facebook’s Problems at the Top

Whistleblowers multiply, but Zuckerberg and Sandberg don’t heed their warnings

Niners quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo led a late-game comeback against the Packers, but San Francisco lost, 30-28, on a late field goal. (Courtesy of San Francisco 49ers)
The Packers beat the Niners in a heartbreaker: Don’t panic

San Francisco is no better and no worse than you thought they were.

Federal officials have endorsed booster shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for many fully inoculated Americans. (Kevin Mohatt/New York Times)
When Californians will get COVID-19 boosters

Eligibility currently limited to those inoculated with Pfizer vaccine

Health experts praised Salesforce for keeping its Dreamforce conference at Moscone Center outdoors and on a small scale. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
Happy birthday, Marc Benioff. Your company did the right thing

Salesforce kept Dreamforce small, which made all kinds of sense

Some school districts in California are reporting chronic absenteeism rates of 30% or more. (Alison Yin/EdSource)
Absenteeism surging since schools reopened

Learning loss, anxiety, depression among pandemic-era health challenges

Most Read