It seems like something out of a lesser USA Network drama — a dramatic heist at a prominent bank's history museum, with masked suspects, a gunpoint confrontation, and gold nuggets at stake. But this wasn't showing on a mid-band cable channel! It was actually happening on our streets early this morning.
It was 2:27 a.m., San Francisco Police Department spokesperson Officer Grace Gatpandan says, when a dark-colored Chevy Suburban SUV (later discovered to have been stolen from a San Bruno resident, NBC Bay Area reports) smashed through the revolving doors of the Wells Fargo History Museum at 420 Montgomery Street.
Gatpandan says there were three suspects in the Suburban, all wearing ski masks. Holding the security guard at gunpoint, the suspects took gold nuggets from a display case, then fled in a four-door sedan, leaving the Suburban behind.
According to ABC7, the sedan in which the suspects fled was a white Ford Taurus, last seen headed eastbound across the Bay Bridge. Gatpandan could not confirm those details at publication time.
The museum, which is located at the site where Wells Fargo first opened for business in 1852, does not house a bank branch. On display are artifacts dating back to the bank's Gold Rush years, including an historic Wells Fargo stagecoach and, until today, several cases of gold nuggets from historic mining operations from that time.
Wells Fargo spokesperson Ruben Pulido said that the company is "grateful no team member was harmed. Additionally, the historic stagecoaches on site were not damaged."
Pulido says that Wells Fargo is cooperating with the SFPD investigation of the case, and that they are "disturbed" that the robbery occurred.
This is the second such smash-and-grab to hit San Francisco in recent days, as just last Monday, several suspects used a U-Haul to smash into a Fisherman's Wharf Patagonia store, stealing racks of clothing. Those suspects have yet to be found, and Gatpandan could not comment on if police believe the two crimes were related.