Police say man robbed Palo Alto store with replica handgun, threatened to shoot employees

PALO ALTO – A 39-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of robbing a clothing store at Stanford Shopping Center with a replica handgun last weekend, police said.

The incident was reported at the outdoor mall at 180 El Camino Real about 6:40 p.m. Saturday. Officers arrived to find the man holding what appeared to be a semiautomatic handgun, the Palo Alto Police Department said in a news release Thursday.

Police said the man quickly complied with commands to drop the weapon, which turned out to be a “realistic-looking replica handgun,” and he was taken into custody.

An investigation revealed that the man had tried to purchase $600 worth of clothing with a credit card at the Timberland store, police said.

“After the transaction was declined multiple times, the suspect got increasingly disruptive to the point that an employee called security personnel for assistance,” police said. “The suspect then removed the replica handgun from his waistband, brandished it at employees, and left the store with the merchandise without paying for it.”

Police said the man yelled back at the employees that he would shoot them in their heads.

Security personnel arrived in time to see the man brandish the weapon and alerted authorities, police said.

Police said a search of the man’s belongings turned up a second replica handgun still in its original packaging, as well as a credit card, prescription medication and personal documents that did not belong to him.

The replica handguns had been stolen from Big 5 Sporting Goods at 700 El Camino Real in Menlo Park earlier that day, police said.

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Police said the man was booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail in San Jose on charges of robbery, criminal threats, possession of stolen property and possession of medication without a prescription.

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Anyone with information related to the case can contact police at 650-329-2413. Those wishing to remain anonymous can call or text 650-383-8984 or email paloalto@tipnow.org.

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Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment

      

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