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


PRESS RELEASE 0523201702
Subject :

Bank Robbery Suspect Spotted, Police Make Arrest After Chase
Contact : Brian Philip, Sergeant, Police Department    650-329-2413
Palo Alto, CA – Officers arrested the suspect in yesterday's bank robbery after a foot chase downtown this afternoon, following a tip from an alert witness who recognized him from media coverage of the robbery.

On Monday, May 22, 2017 at about 1:19 p.m., a robbery occurred at the Bank of America at 530 Lytton Avenue in downtown Palo Alto.  Police obtained a surveillance image of the suspect and released it via social media at 2:35 p.m.  News media outlets picked up the story and distributed the suspect’s photo widely on broadcast and print platforms.

On Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at about 3:19 p.m., an employee at Shoe Palace at 451 University Avenue called police after the suspect walked into the store and paid for items with several crisp $100 bills.  The witness recognized him from media coverage of the robbery, and even noted that he had shaved his facial hair since the crime.

Police responded to the area and attempted to detain the suspect in the 400 block of University Avenue.  The suspect immediately fled on foot.  Officers caught him within a block and had to use a TASER to take him into custody after he fought with them.  No officers were injured.  The suspect sustained minor injuries and was treated at a local hospital per standard procedure following a TASER deployment.

Police booked 43-year-old Rudi Romano Griffin of East Palo Alto into the Santa Clara County Mail Jail for bank robbery (a felony) and resisting arrest (a misdemeanor).  Police also booked him for a probation violation, as the suspect is on active probation in Santa Clara County for theft.  His booking photo is attached to this release.

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.  Tips can also be submitted anonymously through our free mobile app, downloadable at or