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Monday, May 14, 2012

Cops, Bank of America Mum on Bomb Scare

Posted By on Mon, May 14, 2012 at 10:42 AM

click to enlarge Nothing to see here. Move along. - JOE ESKENAZI
  • Joe Eskenazi
  • Nothing to see here. Move along.

In mid-April, police shut down Market and Montgomery in the middle of the day after a suspicious electronic device was discovered in the Bank of America at 33 New Montgomery.

San Francisco Police Lt. Simon Silverman told SF Weekly at the time that bank employees found a curious item the size of a handheld device inside an old safety deposit box at the bank.

BofA workers initially phoned in the discovery as a "low-priority call," but when police arrived they called in the bomb squad and cordoned off one of the city's busiest intersections.

The object was removed from the bank and life returned to normal. A month later, facts remain elusive. Neither the police nor Bank of America is disclosing just what spurred all of this fuss. It may have been an old Texas Instruments calculator, or it may have been something truly ominous -- but no one's talking.

Since the case is a matter for Special Investigations, the police remain tight-lipped on the incident, revealing only that "a suspicious item" was removed from the premises and "disposed of accordingly." What the item was, and if footage exists of the area where it was discovered that might reveal how it got there, were not matters the cops opted to discuss.

Meanwhile, one Bank of America branch employee we reached described the April 17 incident as "no bomb threat." This is an interesting way to describe the police calling in the bomb squad, which evacuated the building, shut down the intersection, deployed a small, remote-controlled robot to remove a suspicious electronic device, and disposed of the device accordingly.

Our calls were directed to Bank of America's "Security Operations Analysis Command Center." Astoundingly, these aren't chatty folks, and they declined to speak on the matter.

So, the incident remains mysterious -- which may be a bit more of a trying situation if one works in the vicinity of the bank, or keeps money or valuables there. But, it could be worse. Bank of America employees may be comically misinformed on what constitutes a "bomb scare." But at least they don't have to explain how they managed to lose $2 billion.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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