In what’s fast becoming a copycat crime across the Bay Area, another ATM theft victimized a Bank of America at Balboa Street and 38th Avenue sometime after 3:30 a.m. Wednesday morning.
It’s a move we’re starting to see more of all over the Bay, that thieves with chains, trucks, and even stolen tractors are stealing entire ATMs full of cash, and demolishing storefronts in the process. In the last couple months, we’ve seen early morning ATM thefts at Clooney’s Pub on Valencia Street and K&H Liquors at the corner of 16th and Valencia, and a December report on KGO said that SFPD recorded 15 ATM thefts in 2023.
Thieves ram vehicle into bank in SF's Richmond District https://t.co/JaWbdUz3hj— KRON4 News (@kron4news) January 3, 2024
Now add another in 2024. According to KRON4, thieves rammed into a Bank of America ATM in the Outer Richmond early Wednesday morning, and took that ATM at 3701 Balboa Street filled with an undisclosed amount of cash.
The Bank of America website says that particular location “has been temporarily closed.”
🚨 Today at 4 AM: Outer Richmond, SF: Dark Chevy Tahoe smashes into Bank of America, swipes ATM. The vehicle was spotted southbound on 39th Ave. Stay informed. Download the Citizen App now. #SanFrancisco #SafetyFirst #CitizenApp #StayInformed https://t.co/nFwSxQi9Xi— Citizen (@CitizenApp) January 3, 2024
Much of the information on this Citizen app post has been confirmed by either SFPD or KRON4. The post describes a 3:50 a.m. Wednesday morning police call, and a vehicle description of an “older model, dark-colored Chevrolet Tahoe occupied by one or two people, (that) crashed into the Bank of America and stole an ATM.” The post adds that the Chevy Tahoe “has a roof rack and back-end damage, with the back trunk window busted out,” and that the vehicle “ was last seen traveling southbound on 39th Ave.”
The Citizen post also engages in some speculation that “Suspects have carried out a similar crime with a BOA ATM in Oakland,” though there is no confirmed connection between the two thefts.
Still, it’s fair to wonder if thefts are coordinated, given how this particular crime has caught on in California over the last year. That KGO report quotes the ATM Security Association’s David Tente, who says "We do see crime gangs coming in from Mexico and also the largest crime group for ATM crimes are from Romania." Romania?
If you have any information on this incident, you’re asked to call the SFPD Tip Line at 415-575-4444, or text a tip to TIP411 and begin the message with “SFPD.” Tipsters can remain anonymous.
Image: Google Street View