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Umbrella bandit robs San Francisco bank

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A crook used an open umbrella to conceal himself from surveillance cameras during a heist at the Bank of the West on Columbus Avenue in San Francisco. (Courtesy photo) - A CROOK USED AN OPEN UMBRELLA TO CONCEAL HIMSELF FROM SURVEILLANCE CAMERAS DURING A HEIST AT THE BANK OF THE WEST ON COLUMBUS AVENUE IN SAN FRANCISCO. (COURTESY PHOTO)
  • A crook used an open umbrella to conceal himself from surveillance cameras during a heist at the Bank of the West on Columbus Avenue in San Francisco. (Courtesy photo)
  • A crook used an open umbrella to conceal himself from surveillance cameras during a heist at the Bank of the West on Columbus Avenue in San Francisco. (Courtesy photo)

If bad luck rains on someone who opens an umbrella indoors, San Francisco cops must be hoping superstition is on their side.

On a clear and sunny Saturday, a careful crook walked into a bank in North Beach toting an open umbrella and walked out with handfuls of cash, police said.

The crook used the open umbrella to conceal himself from surveillance cameras during the heist at the Bank of the West on Columbus Avenue just after 9 a.m.

However, the suspect was already difficult to identify. He wore a black nylon face mask and covered his head and neck with a multicolored bandana, police said.

Cops said he told all three tellers, “Give me all the 20s and 100s. If not, I’ll shoot.”

No weapon was seen.

The tellers handed over cash, which the suspect collected in the open umbrella before fleeing, police said.

The crook was last seen running eastbound on Green Street toward Grant Avenue, according to police. No one was injured during the heist.

Luck ended up running out for a few other zany local bank bandits.

An alleged serial bank robber dubbed the “Plaid Bandit” is scheduled to be arraigned today in San Francisco. Donald Gene Booth, 68, was arrested last week at his San Francisco home.

He is suspected of robbing four San Francisco banks this month, wearing plaid shirts during the heists. He was nabbed based on an anonymous tip, police said. Booth has a long criminal history, including attempted murder and robbery convictions out of Portland, Ore., San Francisco prosecutors said.

Also last week, the FBI arrested a suspect in a dozen bank robberies in California, including three in the Bay Area. They dubbed him “Mr. Magoo” because of his resemblance to the 1960s cartoon character.

Authorities said Scott James Larson, 43, voluntarily surrendered to FBI agents in San Diego after he learned he was being sought.

maldax@sfexaminer.com

The Associated Press and Bay City News contributed to this report.