San Francisco deputy sheriff charged in bank robbery

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

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