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ATM thieves target San Francisco bank and Oakland grocery store

A Bank of America branch sits on a quiet street corner.
A Bank of America branch at 38th Avenue and Balboa Street, as seen in this May 2021 image from Google Street View, was burglarized Wednesday morning. | Source: Google Street View

Thieves ram-raided a Bank of America branch Wednesday in San Francisco, driving an SUV into the building before making off with an ATM inside.

At 3:40 a.m., police responded to a caller's report of a vehicle crash near the intersection of 38th Avenue and Balboa Street in the city's Outer Richmond neighborhood.

Police later told The Standard that cash had been taken, with multiple suspects using a vehicle to break in before fleeing in an SUV southbound along 39th Avenue. No arrests had been made late Wednesday morning.

According to a post on Citizen, when officers arrived, they found the bank branch at 3701 Balboa St. had been damaged and soon learned that an older-model dark-colored Chevrolet Tahoe had crashed into the bank. Moments later, one or two people inside managed to take an ATM from inside the bank before fleeing.

The Chevrolet, described as having a roof rack, apparently sustained back-end damage and had its back trunk window broken.

READ MORE: San Francisco CVS Store Covers Smashed Entrance With Gift Wrap After ATM Theft

Separately, Oakland police told The Standard early Wednesday afternoon that officers saw several individuals flee the scene of an attempted robbery at the Fruitvale Station shopping center, 3000 East Ninth St., involving a vehicle driven through a business storefront to gain access to an ATM around 5:15 a.m. However, police did not share more specific information connecting it to the San Francisco theft.

According to Citizen, the robbery happened at a FoodMaxx grocery store on East Ninth Street in Oakland's Fruitvale neighborhood around 5:20 a.m., with police receiving a report of the crash and an alert of a power cut from Bank of America to an ATM on the property. When officers arrived, they found the ATM abandoned in a parking lot outside after thieves tried to drag it out of the store.

Two vehicles seen fleeing the lot and dragging chains behind them were described as a black Cadillac SUV with dark-tinted windows and a blue and gray two-toned Ford F-250 truck. Both vehicles were last seen driving south along East Ninth Street before driving in separate directions along Fruitvale Avenue.

The theft, similar to one that damaged a CVS drugstore last month along 32nd Avenue, continues a spike in such crimes that has concerned authorities and San Francisco business owners.

A Bank of America spokesperson did not respond to a request for additional details.

This is a developing story.

George Kelly can be reached at