Bank robber hits First National in Eureka Square

By Elaine Larsen

Assistant Editor

A man wearing a Miami Dolphins baseball cap and dark sunglasses robbed the First National Bank in Eureka Square last Wednesday afternoon, making off with thousands of dollars in cash.

Bank employees and witnesses told Pacifica Police a man rushed into the bank at about 10:30 that morning and immediately vaulted over the counter at the first teller window near the front door.

Pushing the teller aside, the man yelled out "This is a hold up. Nobody move." He ransacked and emptied the teller's currency drawer into a brown paper bag. He then vaulted back over the counter, ran out the bank and was last seen running through the parking lot and onto Oceana Boulevard on foot.

No weapons were seen, and it is unclear whether the man had a getaway car waiting or not, police said.

Pacifica Police officers, who were immediately summoned, got a description of the suspect en route. They thoroughly searched the area, but were unable to locate him. No one in the bank was injured.

Police cordoned off the bank entrance and no bank customers were allowed to enter during the investigation.

The suspect is described as a white male adult, 30 years old, 5 feet 9 inches, 165 pounds, with dark brown hair. He was clean-shaven and wearing a Miami Dolphins baseball cap, blue hooded sweatshirt and dark blue jeans that were either black or blue. He was wearing sunglasses.

Pacifica Police are investigating the case, but have also contacted the San Francisco branch of the FBI.

Last Wednesday's incident was only the third bank robbery in Pacifica in recent memory. During the mid-1990s, two people in their 20s dressed as Ninja warriors and carrying Samurai swords robbed the Linda Mar Bank of America.

More recently, another man went into the Bank of America carrying a paper bag claiming it contained a bomb. He fled with cash, leaving the bag behind. Bomb squad experts later determined there was no explosive.

All three suspects in both of those cases were apprehended, the latter after his face was captured on video by the bank's surveillance camera.

Pacifica Police believe the First National robber may be involved in five other pending cases of similar bank robberies reported in, Daly City, Millbrae and several other North County cities, and are collaborating with those jurisdiction's police agencies.

Anyone with information about the pending robbery investigation is encouraged to contact Det. Sgt. Fernando Realyvasquez at the Pacifica Police Department, 738-7314.