Before a San Francisco police officer implicated in the racist text message scandal allegedly robbed a bank in the Sunset District, prosecutors say the 20-year veteran stole $24,000 from an elderly person with dementia.
Officer Rain Olson Daugherty is not only facing a federal bank robbery charge for allegedly walking out of an East West Bank last month with more than $9,000 in stolen cash, but a felony theft from an elder charge in San Mateo County.
Peninsula prosecutors said Thursday that Daugherty stole the money from a 76-year-old neighbor in Burlingame who hired him to assist with chores. He was allegedly captured on surveillance video 30 different times withdrawing a total of $13,095 from the neighbor’s bank account.
A total of $24,000 went missing from the account between last September and December, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office.
San Mateo County prosecutors charged Daugherty with felony theft from an elder and four counts of possession of a controlled substance on July 24, four months before federal prosecutors say he robbed a bank in the Sunset.
“Just like you say of anybody we have to deal with who’s committed a crime, these are all human beings we’re talking about,” Police Chief Bill Scott told reporters Thursday. “There’s a human component to this and it’s really heartbreaking to see a police officer be in that position.”
In 2015, Daugherty, 44, filed a lawsuit on behalf of himself and eight unnamed officers in an attempt to skirt punishment for sending racist and homophobic text messages.
The lawsuit alleged that former Police Chief Greg Suhr waited too long to seek discipline against the officers for sending the messages between 2011 and 2013.
The officers initially won the case but an appellate court overturned the decision.
Earlier this month, some of the disciplinary cases for the officers who remain with the department finally reached the Police Commission.
“There was a court ruling that the commission can go forward with the case and that’s what’s happening, but there’s still a process involved,” Scott said. “We can’t just arbitrarily release people without due process.”
On Dec. 1, 2017, the San Francisco Police Department executed a search warrant at Daugherty’s home and allegedly found cocaine, oxycodone, lorazepam and diazepam, according to prosecutors.
The SFPD also found cat food purchased on the neighbor’s bank card. Prosecutors said Daugherty has a cat, but the neighbor with dementia does not have any pets.
It’s unclear why Daugherty wasn’t charged until this summer.
Daugherty bailed out of jail on $100,000.
On Nov. 29, he allegedly walked into a bank on Irving Street in San Francisco and demanded money from the teller, leaving with more than $9,000 in cash.
The SFPD circulated a surveillance photo of the robber.
The FBI said in court records that two SFPD Internal Affairs investigators identified the suspect as Daugherty.
He was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of bank robbery and charged the following day.
The San Francisco Police Officers Association, which hired attorneys to represent Daugherty and the other officers in the racist text lawsuit, said in a statement Thursday that it was “disgusted by the alleged criminal actions.”
“We are sworn to uphold the law and are dedicated to honorably serving all San Franciscans,” the SFPOA said. “This individual should be held accountable for this shameful act he is accused of and if found guilty, through due process, he should face the appropriate consequences. We appreciate those SFPD members who assisted the FBI in this investigation.”
An attorney representing Daugherty in the San Mateo County case was not immediately available for comment. The case was scheduled to be heard at a preliminary hearing in October but was rescheduled until February.
A federal public defender for Daugherty did not respond to a request for comment.
Daugherty appeared in federal court Wednesday for arraignment on the bank robbery charge and is expected to return for a detention hearing Friday.
He is being held at Glenn Dyer Jail in Oakland.
The FBI said Daugherty was suspended from the SFPD in connection with the San Mateo County investigation.
Daugherty was on the payroll until the SFPD placed him on unpaid status July 24, when San Mateo County prosecutors filed criminal charges.
City payroll records show he earned around $129,000 a year in base pay.
It’s unclear where his disciplinary case stands related to the text message scandal because of state law sealing such records from the public.
This story has been updated to include additional information.