Men cause car crash, rob driver of bank deposit

Police believe this man, who was photographed on a surveillance camera at the 7-Eleven on Newell Road, was one of the two men who robbed an employee following a staged car accident. Photo provided by Palo Alto police.

Palo Alto police are investigating an unusual strong-arm robbery in which two men followed a store employee from a 7-Eleven, intentionally crashed their vehicle into hers and stole a bank deposit bag containing thousands of dollars, authorities said.

A woman in her 30s who works at the 7-Eleven at 77 Newell Road in East Palo Alto, had been on her way to a Palo Alto bank to make a deposit on Monday (Aug. 28) at around 9:40 a.m. when she was robbed, police said.

She had reached the intersection of Newell and Edgewood roads when another vehicle rear-ended hers. A man approached her, apologized for the accident and suggested that she take a picture of the damage, police said.

She got out of her car with her phone, at which point the robber grabbed the device, according to police. He then ran back to her car and stole the bag of bank deposits from the front seat. The robber then got into the passenger seat of the suspects’ car and the car fled southbound on Newell. The victim was not injured, police said, and her vehicle sustained minor damage.

Police believe the robber and the driver had waited for the victim outside store and then followed her. Officers learned that the robber had entered the 7-Eleven briefly after the suspects’ vehicle parked outside around 8:50 a.m.

Police later recovered the victim’s phone in downtown Palo Alto in the possession of a man who said he had found it that morning on University Avenue at Woodland Avenue in East Palo Alto. Officers do not believe that the man was involved with the robbery.

The victim described the robber as a black man in his 20s, about 5 feet 10 inches tall, with short hair. During the robbery, he was wearing a loose white T-shirt with a logo on it and khaki pants. Surveillance footage from inside the 7-Eleven showed him wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt with an orange logo on the front and orange drawstrings for the hood.

The victim described the driver as a Pacific Islander man in his 20s wearing a black T-shirt. He had brown, curly, long hair.

The victim described the suspects’ car as a newer, silver four-door sedan with a yellow paper license plate on the front. The vehicle was captured by surveillance cameras as it left the 7-Eleven parking lot.

Anyone with information about the robbery may call (650) 329-2413.