News Release News Release The City of Palo Alto
Communications Department
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301


Subject :

Suspect Displays Gun, Attempts to Rob Gas Station
Contact : Kara Apple, Sergeant, Police Department    650-329-2413
Palo Alto, CA -- A suspect displayed a handgun in his waistband in an attempt to rob a cashier at a gas station, but fled on foot when the cashier refused to cooperate.  There were no injuries and the suspect is at large.

On Saturday, February 15, 2014, at about 6:50 p.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received an alarm from the 76 Gas Station at 835 San Antonio Road.  Officers responded to learn that an armed robbery attempt had just occurred, and that the suspect had fled the area on foot.  With the assistance of a canine unit from the Los Altos Police Department, officers checked the area but were unable to locate the suspect.

The investigation revealed that the suspect had entered the gas station and handed money over to buy cigarettes.  When the cashier, a man in his twenties, opened the cash register to make change, the suspect partially removed a handgun from his waistband, and demanded money.  The cashier immediately closed the register without giving the suspect any money.  The suspect walked out and fled northbound on East Charleston Road towards Fabian Way.  The cashier was not injured.

The victim described the suspect as a black male in his thirties or forties with a "skinny" build.  He was about 5 feet 5 inches tall, clean shaven, and appeared to be wearing a wig with curly hair that hung to the shoulders.  The suspect was wearing a black buttoned-up parka jacket and faded dark pants.  He had a black hat with white lettering on it.  The gun was a dark-colored semi-automatic handgun.  If any usable video surveillance images become available, or if the victim is able to meet with a police sketch artist, they will be released separately.

Officers are investigating this incident.  The last gas station robbery in Palo Alto occurred at the Shell Gas Station on Embarcadero Road near Highway 101 on July 2.  Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call our 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413.  Anonymous tips can be e-mailed to or sent via text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984.