SF Sheriff deputy arrested for Richmond District bank robbery


sheriff deputy bank robbery suspect

Photo: KTVU

UPDATE 12:20 p.m. Nov. 16, 2012 – A San Francisco sheriff’s deputy has been arrested on suspicion of robbing a Richmond District bank Nov. 7, KTVU reports.

According to KTVU, the deputy has been identified as Phil Tong, and he was identified through bank surveillance photos. He was arrested at the San Francisco County Jail Friday morning in relation to a robbery of the Balboa Street Bank of America branch.

Tong was being held on two felony counts, with bail at $150,000, KTVU reports.


The Bank of America at 37th Avenue and Balboa Street was robbed Wednesday evening, according to San Francisco police.

The suspect, described by police as an Asian male around 30 years old, walked into the bank at 3701 Balboa St. at 4:50 p.m. and presented a note to the teller demanding money. The teller complied and the suspect fled the bank with an unspecified amount of cash.

The suspect never displayed a weapon, and no one was injured. He was not arrested.

The Balboa Street Bank of America has been the target of several other robberies, including one in July 2003 in which the suspect was busted in a stretch limousine he had hired as a getaway car. In another crime earlier that year, suspects robbed the bank at gunpoint, then fled to a house on Anza Street and through neighborhood backyards.

A woman was arrested in 2010 in relation to a string of bank robberies, including the Balboa B of A.

That bank also has a small place in San Francisco cinematic history. In the 1988 film “Patty Hearst,” starring Natasha Richardson, the bank stood in for a Hibernia Bank on Noriega Street that was robbed by the publishing heiress and her kidnappers in the 1970s.

While police did not specifically identify the bank in Wednesday’s robbery, it is the only one on the block where police say the robbery took place.

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