• Updated at 5:50 p.m. See addendum at the end.

Police responded today around 1 p.m. to what they described as a robbery at the Bank of the West at 2812 Mission St., near the 24th and Mission BART Plaza. Several patrol cars arrived on the scene and officers were seen entering and exiting the bank, patrolling along the block and scouring the nearby BART station.

A witness who had been inside the bank during the incident described it as a calm, almost normal situation. The witness, who did not want his name to appear in print, told Mission Local he was waiting in line to deposit a check when he saw a young-looking man abruptly rush out of the bank’s door. The bank tellers then immediately announced that they were closing for a “security reason” and ushered customers out. He saw police rush inside the Bank of the West minutes later.

“It’s crazy how quick all of that happened,” the man said.

“I saw police go down the BART station, then come back up and go into the bank,” said Ismail Sanchez, who runs an outdoor boutique on the plaza. “Later they came back down towards the station.”

In the four years Sanchez has operated his canopy-covered shop, called Santo Hermano Pedro Boutique, he’s never seen anything like that. “Sometimes the police have trouble here, but nothing like this,” Sanchez said.

The bank will remain closed until further notice, a bank employee said.

The SFPD confirmed that a “robbery” took place, but have not yet answered other questions. It is not clear how much money the man made off with.  

This is a breaking story and will be updated.

UPDATE 5:50 p.m.: According to police spokesperson Joseph Tomlinson, the incident occurred at 1:12 p.m. when a man walked into the bank and handed a bank teller a note. The teller gave the man money, which the suspect took before fleeing the scene. The suspect is described as a man in his late 20s, around 5’6″ to 5’7″ and medium build. The case is ongoing and the suspect is still at large.

About five squad cars were on the scene following an incident at the Bank of the West near 24th and Mission. The incident occurred around 1 p.m. Friday afternoon. Photo by Abraham Rodriguez.