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


PRESS RELEASE 1203201202
Subject :

Armed Man Robs Downtown Walgreens to Get Narcotic Pain Reliever
Contact : Ron Harris, Officer, Police    650-329-2413
Suspect Full BodySuspect Profile
Palo Alto, CA -- A man displayed a concealed handgun to a pharmacist at the downtown Walgreens store this afternoon and robbed the store of a narcotic pain reliever.  The suspect fled on foot and no one was injured.

On Monday, December 3, 2012, at about 2:34 p.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a call from the Walgreens store at 300 University Avenue stating they had just been robbed.  Officers from the Palo Alto Police Department arrived in less than one minute, but the suspect was nowhere to be found.

The investigation revealed that the suspect went to the pharmacy department of the store and asked for help finding an over-the-counter medication.  A victim, a pharmacist in her forties, stepped out of the pharmacy and took him to the proper aisle.  Once there, the suspect opened a messenger bag he was wearing slung across his body so that the victim could see his hand on the grip of a gun inside the bag.  The suspect never removed the gun from the bag.  The suspect demanded oxycontin (a prescription pain reliever that is a controlled substance in California).  The suspect told the victim that he was addicted to opiates.  The victim returned to the pharmacy and gave him a bottle of oxycontin.  The suspect walked out of the store at a regular pace and was last seen walking southbound on the 500 block of Bryant Street.

The victim described the suspect as a white male in his twenties, about six feet tall to six feet two inches tall, between 160 and 180 pounds, with short cropped hair.  He was wearing a white hat with a Seattle Seahawks logo on it, a gray fleece jacket, and light-colored pants and shoes.  He was carrying a medium-sized messenger bag slung across his body.  The bag had a black strap, and the bag itself was tan and green in color.  There is no further description available on the suspect's gun.

The store’s surveillance video system captured images of the suspect.  Two of those images are attached to this news release.  Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying this suspect.

Detectives from the Palo Alto Police Department are actively investigating this incident.  Police ask that anyone who may have information about this crime, or anyone who thinks they may recognize the suspect, contact 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.