Police have announced a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of suspects in an armed robbery that occurred last Friday at the 24-hour Safeway on Middlefield Road in Palo Alto.
The Palo Alto Police Department (PAPD) investigation found that three men came into the Safeway around 12:38 a.m. One suspect with a handgun ordered a male employee to lie on the ground, while another broke glass to gain entry to the closed pharmacy area and stole an unknown amount of prescription drugs. The third suspect reportedly stood at the front of the store and acted as a lookout.
“Three suspects did in fact enter the store,” said PAPD Sergeant Craig Lee in an interview with Kron4. “One of the suspects brandished the firearm and ordered one of the employees to the ground while the other suspects went to the pharmacy area.”
None of the four employees were injured, and there were no customers in the store at the time of the crime. At this time, neither Safeway nor authorities know the exact quantity of prescription drugs that were taken.
The $10,000 reward for information about the crime is being provided by a local organization, Mothers Against Murder. Based in Los Altos, Mothers Against Murder is a charitable nonprofit that aims to decrease gun violence and ensure the safety of the surrounding communities.
Mothers Against Murder has offered rewards in the past for murder cases, but this is the first robbery that the non-profit has donated to, which they decided to do due to the seriousness of the crime.
Video surveillance from Safeway earlier in the day shows two of the suspects shoplifting food. Police have released screenshots from this footage to the public. All three of the suspects are Hispanic males in their 20s, with their heights ranging from 5’7″ to 5’9″. The suspect in possession of the handgun wore a gray hoodie, blue jeans and red sneakers.
The suspects’ getaway vehicle is described as a red Ford or Chevy pickup truck. The vehicle was last seen traveling eastbound on the Oregon Expressway.
The burglary occurred the same week as a nearby smash-and-grab burglary at the Stanford Shopping Center. Around 2 a.m., thieves smashed glass display cases with rocks in order to grab $83,000 worth of jewelry. Those suspects reportedly drove away in a 1990s white four-door BMW 3 Series and have not been apprehended.
Palo Alto detectives are actively investigating the case and asking the public for help identifying the suspects. The PAPD is encouraging anyone with information on the Safeway robbery or other crimes to call 650-329-2413.
Contact Madison Connell at mconnell ‘at’ stanford.edu