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


PRESS RELEASE 0827201302
Subject :

Police Arrest Suspects in Neighborhood Armed Robbery
Contact : Brian Philip, Detective Sergeant, Police Department    650-329-2413
Christopher Mailau Vea booking photoPatrick Tupoumalohi booking photo
Palo Alto, CA -- Detectives have identified, tracked down, and arrested two men for robbing a pedestrian at gunpoint in a residential neighborhood north of downtown Palo Alto earlier this month.

The robbery occurred on Monday, August 12, 2013, at about 10:07 p.m. in the 100 block of Bryant Street.  The victim, a man in his twenties, was walking on the sidewalk when the two suspects pointed a black handgun at him, ordered him to the ground, and took his wallet, a bag containing his laptop, and other items from his pockets.  The victim was not injured.  A jogger who was a block from the robbery when it occurred went to the victim's aid, and called 9-1-1 from his cell phone to summon police.

Detectives were able to locate surveillance video from a local gas station where the victim’s stolen credit cards were used shortly after the robbery, and used that as their starting point to identify the two suspects.  On Friday, August 23, 2013, at about 1:05 p.m., detectives arrested the two suspects in the 2400 block of University Avenue in East Palo Alto.  The suspects are Christopher Mailau Vea and Patrick Tupoumalohi, both of whom are 20-year-old residents of East Palo Alto.

Shortly after the arrests, the Palo Alto Police Department’s Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team and detectives went to the homes of the suspects and executed a search warrant to look for evidence of the robbery.  During the searches, detectives located three realistic-looking black BB guns that had the orange safety tips colored black.

Police booked both suspects at the Santa Clara County Main Jail for one count of robbery, a felony.  Police also booked Vea for a felony probation violation.  Vea is on active probation in San Mateo County stemming from a 2011 conviction for first-degree burglary.  Booking photos of both suspects are attached to this release.

Detectives do not believe that Vea or Tupoumalohi have any connection to the armed robbery of a man with his young child that occurred at Robles Park on August 15.

Anyone who may have information about these suspects or these cases 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.