Suspect sought in latest South City bank robbery

Police searched taxis and hunted through Bay Area Rapid Transit trains after a soft-spoken bandit robbed a Wells Fargo bank in South San Francisco on Tuesday morning — the Peninsula’s fourth heist in 16 days.

Patrick Ho, assistant manager at the 10 Chestnut Ave. branch, said he was standing nearby when a man walked up to the window, took a note out of his backpack and handed it to a teller. According to Ho, the man then quietly said, “This is a robbery.”

Ho said he pressed the silent alarm and that the male teller calmly complied with the man’s demands. There were about five customers in the bank at the time of the 10:39 a.m. robbery, Ho said. They were unaware of what was happening as the man exited through the front door.

South San Francisco police Sgt. Joni Lee said investigators don’t believe the suspect made his getaway in a car. He was last seen behind the busy shopping center on the corner of Chestnut and El Camino Real, she said.

Lee described the suspect as a black man in his late 20s to early 30s with a stocky build and a mustache. He was wearing blue jeans and a long-sleeved shirt with white and blue stripes and a brown collar.

Police conducted a manhunt in the area but were unable to locate the suspect. Lee said there was no evidence that the crime was related to the recent string of robberies.

On Thursday, a man robbed the World Savings Bank in San Mateo using a note. The robbery came three days after police arrested two men who allegedly planned to rob the Union Bank in San Mateo and 11 days after banks in Burlingame and Daly City were robbed within two hours of each other.

tbarak@examiner.com


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