Hey, remember that guy who, occasionally dressed as a clown, robbed a bunch of pharmacies in San Francisco this fall? Well, police said Friday that he'd been robbing banks too...and that they caught him nearly a month ago.
It's unclear why the San Francisco Police Department waited until Friday at 3:45 p.m. to announce the arrest of 35-year-old San Francisco man Sean Yakota, but that's what they did.
As you might recall, back in early November a man police are now saying was Yakota would make a habit of entering pharmacies and robbing them of prescription pills at gunpoint. As of Friday, police now say he also robbed banks with a similar MO (but for money instead of drugs). Sometimes, Esparza says, Yakota would allegedly commit these crimes dressed like a clown, and other times he'd wear other "various disguises."
The heist wave had inspired an SFPD op, in which undercover SFPD officers armed with surveillance photos of the suspect would stake out various pharmacies, waiting for him to show up to rob the place.
On November 26, police say, those undercover officers "observed a suspect...loitering around a pharmacy and attempted to detain him. A foot pursuit ensued," and Yakota was arrested.
According to SFPD spokesperson Officer Albie Esparza, "upon further investigation it was determined that Yakota was the suspect responsible for 15 robbery incidents throughout San Francisco and San Mateo County."
"Yakota was booked on several robbery and firearms charges without further incident," Esparza says.
Yakota isn't the only alleged menace to our cities banks who got nabbed recently, though. On Friday, police also announced that they'd arrested a man they'd dubbed the "Chuck Taylor Bandit," apparently due to his choice of footwear.
Esparza says that at 4:45 p.m. last Tuesday, a bank on the 1800 block of Irving Street, which is between 19th and 20th Avenues, was robbed by a man who handed a teller a note demanding money.
She complied, and he fled with the cash by car. "This suspect’s description was similar to those obtained from other recent bank robberies in the 'Chuck Taylor Bandit' series," Esparza says.
"Responding officers were able to obtain a still photo of the suspect vehicle from the bank’s video surveillance system. The photo was distributed by text message to other officers in the field via department issued cell phone in an attempt to locate and identify the suspect."
"Later that same evening, San Francisco Police officers continuously searched for the suspect vehicle and located it along the Geary Street corridor," Esparza says, and with it came the suspect, 39-year-old San Francisco man Daniel King.
Esparza says that police were able to take King into custody without incident. King was booked on eight counts of suspicion of bank robbery and three of attempted bank robbery, Esparza says.
In both cases, Esparza says SFPD's not releasing booking photos of the suspects yet, due to "pending identification matters." They're also still eager for more intel on either of the men's alleged crimes: if you know anything, Esparza asks that you drop Sergeant Tracy Boes a line at (415) 553-9143, or call their anonymous tip line with your info at 415-575-4444.