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


Subject :

Police Arrest Suspect for Armed Robbery of Pedestrian
Contact : Marco Estrada, Agent, Police Department    650-329-2413
Irvin Alejandro Valadez Castaneda booking photo
Palo Alto, CA -- Police arrested a man for armed robbery last night shortly after he robbed a pedestrian with what police later determined was a BB gun.  The victim was not injured.

On Sunday, April 6, 2014, at about 10:05 p.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a      9-1-1 call from a man in the 3800 block of Middlefield Road reporting that he had just been robbed at gunpoint, and that the suspect had fled in a vehicle northbound on Middlefield Road.  The victim, a man in his forties, said that the suspect had stolen his cell phone and cash.  The victim provided a description of the suspect and his vehicle.

At about 10:11 p.m., a patrol officer in the 1500 block of Edgewood Road saw a man matching the suspect's description exit a parked car matching the suspect vehicle’s description.  The officer detained him for investigation, and subsequently saw the victim’s cell phone in plain view inside the man’s car.  Officers arrested the suspect without incident and found a BB gun inside the car.

The investigation revealed that the victim had been walking northbound on the east sidewalk of the 3800 block of Middlefield Road when he saw a vehicle pull onto Ensign Way in front of him.  He then noticed the suspect walking towards him.  The suspect pointed a black gun at him and demanded his cash and cell phone.  The victim complied.  The suspect demanded that the victim produce his identification card, which he did.  The suspect then used the stolen cell phone to take a picture of the victim’s identification, and threatened to "come after him" if the victim reported the phone stolen to police.

Police booked 22-year-old Irvin Alejandro Valadez Castaneda of East Palo Alto into the Santa Clara County Main Jail for robbery and criminal threats, both of which are felonies.  A booking photo of the suspect is attached.  Castaneda was driving a gold 2001 Mitsubishi Galant sedan.

Detectives are investigating to see if the suspect is connected to any other robberies in Palo Alto or surrounding communities.  Anyone with information about this incident or this suspect 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.