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


Subject :

Armed Robbery Occurs at Valencia Market in Palo Alto
Contact : Marianna Villaescusa, Agent, Police    650-329-2413
Palo Alto, CA -- An unknown suspect robbed an El Camino Real market at gunpoint in Palo Alto last night and escaped with cash.  There were no injuries.

On Saturday, August 25, 2012, at about 8:40 p.m., the Palo Alto Police Department's 24-hour dispatch center received a 9-1-1 call reporting an armed robbery that had just occurred at Valencia Market, located at 3487 El Camino Real.  Officers responded to the area, but were unable to locate the suspect.

The investigation revealed that the suspect entered the market, pointed a black semi-automatic handgun at the two proprietors, and demanded cash from the register.  The victims complied with the request.  There were no customers in the store at the time of the robbery.  The suspect fled on foot southbound on the sidewalk of El Camino Real, and may have gotten into a newer, shiny, black vehicle parked in the alley to the rear of the business.  That vehicle left the scene at a high rate of speed.

The victims described the suspect as a Hispanic male in his forties, about 5 feet 7 inches tall and heavyset (about 220 pounds).  He was a wearing a light blue button-up long-sleeved shirt with dark blue jeans and a plain black baseball cap.  A sketch of the suspect likely will be released within the next two days (update: sketch posted August 29, 2012).

Detectives from the Palo Alto Police Department are actively investigating this robbery, and are working with other agencies to determine if this robbery is linked to any others.  Local residents may also recall that the former market at this same location was robbed in June 2011.  No arrests have yet to be made in that case.  While the descriptions of the suspects are different, detectives are still examining the possibility of any link between the two cases.

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.