By the Daily Post staff
A man in a ski mask with a handgun robbed a Palo Alto resident at about 6:15 last night on Channing Avenue at Bryant Street in a residential area south of downtown, police said.
During the robbery, a child was inside the victim’s car, but was unharmed.
Police said the robber then took off in a black 2-door Honda Accord driven by another man. Police suspect they headed to Stanford Shopping Center, where they were looking into cars as if they were going to burglarize them. When police arrived, they narrowly missed hitting pedestrians as they fled to Sand Hill Road, where they drove out of town.
The episode started at 6:20 p.m. when police dispatchers got a call from an employee at Patagonia at 525 Alma St., who said two men were sitting in a black 2-door Honda Accord for an extended length of time.
As one of them eventually opened the car door, they happened to make eye contact with a uniformed security guard standing nearby. The man chose to remain in the vehicle, which then immediately drove off and headed eastbound on University Avenue. The Patagonia security guard recorded the license plate of the car, and police learned that license plate had been reported stolen out of Oakland and did not belong on a Honda.
At about 6:30 p.m. a man in his 30s told police he had just parked in the driveway of his home and opened the rear door of his vehicle to get a young relative out of the backseat. Then the black Honda pulled up, and a man wearing a ski mask and holding a pistol came up to him and demanded his property. He handed over his wristwatch.
The victim noticed that both the man who had gotten out of the Honda and the driver, who was still inside, were both holding guns.
Then the gunmen drove away.
The child remained in the victim’s car during the robbery and was not addressed by the robbers.
At 7:07 p.m., police got a call about a black Honda possibly checking out cars in the Stanford Shopping Center parking lot. Officers found the Honda, which then sped out of the parking lot, almost hitting some pedestrians.
Officers pursued the Honda but ultimately decided to end the pursuit on Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park because the robbers were driving recklessly.