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


Subject :

Man in Wheelchair Robs Bank
Contact : Agent Dan Ryan, Palo Alto Police Department    408-406-1330
Police responded at 4:23 p.m. to the Wachovia Bank at the Stanford Shopping Center, on the report of an armed robbery that had just occurred.  

An elderly Caucasian male, approximately 65 to 70 years old, with a grey beard and wearing a cast on one leg, was apparently confined to a large, electric-powered wheelchair when he entered the bank. He was described as balding by some, but wore a dark hooded sweatshirt. He produced a shopping bag from a nearby store and a handgun, and demanded that the clerk fill his bag with cash. 

After obtaining an undisclosed amount of currency, the man was last seen exiting the bank in his motorized wheelchair. There was some delay before police were notified, and the man was gone from the area upon officers’ arrival.

Investigation revealed that the same man had apparently entered the Sharper Image store a short time prior to the robbery. He asked for a shopping bag with their logo, and then left without making any purchases. He was seen by store employees as he entered a large white van with red lettering on the side and a wheelchair lift at the rear doors. At least one other male assisted him into the van before they left the area of the Sharper Image. Several minutes later, across the large parking lot, the same disabled man apparently committed the robbery. No getaway vehicle was seen by bank employees, aside from the wheelchair. Investigators are still canvassing the shopping center for other witnesses.

Anyone with information on this incident is asked to call our Anonymous Tip Line at 650-329-2190.

View a PDF version of this press release with a sketch of the suspect attached