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


Subject :

Interagency Cooperation Leads to Arrest of 7-Eleven Armed Robbers
Contact : Kara Apple, Sergeant, Police Department    650-329-2413
Suspects Maka, Tupa, and Faoa (left to right)
Palo Alto, CA -- Detectives from the Palo Alto Police Department have arrested the three suspects responsible for the armed robbery of a 7-Eleven convenience store last month, after alert officers from the Redwood City Police Department, who had just arrested the same three men for a burglary, recognized them from a wanted bulletin and notified our detectives.

On Monday, October 14, 2013, at about 2:20 a.m., an armed robbery occurred at the 7-Eleven convenience store at 708 Colorado Avenue.  Three suspects entered the store, and while two of them stole miscellaneous items from the store's inventory, the primary suspect pointed a rifle or shotgun at the victim clerk and demanded money from the register.  After the clerk complied, the primary suspect punched the victim in the face and took his wallet.  The three suspects, who were wearing masks that obscured their faces, fled on foot and escaped.  The victim sustained minor injuries to his mouth and nose from the punch.  Detectives from the Palo Alto Police Department created a wanted bulletin and distributed it to Bay Area law enforcement agencies.

On Friday, October 25, 2013, at about 1:30 a.m., officers from the Redwood City Police Department responded to a report of a burglary in progress at Peninsula Liquors at 717 El Camino Real in Redwood City.  Upon arrival, they located and arrested three suspects who had just burglarized the closed business.  The officers, who had seen our wanted bulletin, recognized their three suspects as being similar in appearance to the Palo Alto suspects.  The officers from the Redwood City Police Department booked the suspects into the San Mateo County Main Jail for burglary and conspiracy, and promptly notified our detectives.

Over the course of the next several days, detectives from the Palo Alto Police Department conducted follow-up investigation into the three suspects and their possible involvement with our robbery.  At the conclusion of the investigation, detectives presented the case to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office, who filed one count of felony robbery against each of the three suspects on November 6, 2013.

The three men are 23-year-old Joachim Piliote Maka, 27-year-old Apolosio Piutou Tupa, and 24-year-old Joshua N. Faoa.  All are residents of East Palo Alto.  Detectives believe Maka was the primary suspect armed with the rifle or shotgun in the Palo Alto robbery.  Maka is on probation in San Mateo County from a prior conviction of carrying a loaded firearm in public.  Tupa is on probation in San Mateo County from a prior conviction of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Detectives served the arrest warrants on Maka and Tupa on November 6, while they were still in custody at the San Mateo County Main Jail for the burglary case.  Faoa had since been released from custody.

On Thursday, November 7, 2013, detectives served two search warrants in an effort to locate Faoa and additional evidence from the robbery.  The search warrants covered two residences in East Palo Alto, one in the 700 block of Donohoe Street and the other in the 2200 block of Capitol Avenue.  Detectives located evidence during those searches that the suspects may also be connected to an armed robbery of a 7-Eleven convenience store at 975 Rollins Road in Burlingame on Thursday, October 17, 2013, at about 3:40 a.m.  Our detectives are currently working collaboratively with investigators from the Burlingame Police Department.

On the evening of November 7, 2013, Faoa self-surrendered at the Palo Alto Police Department on his robbery arrest warrant.  Police booked Faoa into the Santa Clara County Main Jail pursuant to the warrant.

 Booking photos of all three suspects are attached to this release.

"This case highlights the importance of police agencies sharing information, since criminals routinely cross over jurisdictional boundaries," said Lieutenant Zach Perron of the Palo Alto Police Department.  “The officers from the Redwood City Police Department did a great job of recognizing a possible connection to our case, and notifying us in a timely way.  We really appreciate the help.”

Anyone with information about these three suspects 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.