News

Trio arrested for 7-Eleven robbery

Men linked to another robbery and burglary in Burlingame and Redwood City

Three men who allegedly held up a Palo Alto 7-Eleven store last month have been arrested, the Palo Alto Police Department announced today, Nov. 12.

Joachim Piliote Maka, 23, Apolosio Piutou Tupa, 27, and Joshua N. Faoa, 24, all of East Palo Alto, were arrested after alert Redwood City police officers recognized them from a wanted bulletin. Redwood City police had just arrested the trio for a burglary, according to a Palo Alto police.

Detectives released the bulletin to multiple area police agencies while searching for three men who entered the 7-Eleven convenience store at 708 Colorado Ave. in Palo Alto on Oct. 14. The men entered the store at 2:20 a.m. and robbed the clerk at gunpoint. Two stole miscellaneous items from the store's inventory while the primary robber pointed a rifle or shotgun at the victim, a man in his 40s, and demanded money from the register. After the clerk complied, the gun-wielding suspect punched the victim in the face and took his wallet.

The 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, police said.

Detectives believe Maka was the man armed with the rifle or shotgun. He is on probation in San Mateo County from a prior conviction of carrying a loaded firearm in public, police said. Tupa is on probation in San Mateo County from a prior conviction of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

On Oct. 25, Redwood City police responded to a burglary in progress at Peninsula Liquors at 717 El Camino Real. They detained and arrested Maka, Tupa and Faoa near the closed liquor store. The men looked similar to the Palo Alto robbers, Redwood City officers noticed. Police booked the men into the San Mateo County Main Jail for burglary and conspiracy, and promptly notified Palo Alto detectives.

Maka and Tupa were arrested by Palo Alto police for the 7-Eleven robbery on Nov. 6 while they were still in custody at the San Mateo County Main Jail. Faoa had already been released from custody, but on Nov. 7 he surrendered at the Palo Alto Police Department after learning of the warrant for his arrest. Police booked him into the Santa Clara County Main Jail.

Detectives also served search warrants on two residences in East Palo Alto, in the 700 block of Donohoe St. near the IKEA store and the 2200 block of Capitol Ave. near Bell Street. Evidence found during the searches might connect the trio to an Oct. 17, 7-Eleven armed robbery at 975 Rollins Road in Burlingame. Palo Alto detectives are working with Burlingame investigators, police said.

Palo Alto police Lt. Zach Perron lauded the collaborative effort and its result.

"This case highlights the importance of police agencies sharing information, since criminals routinely cross over jurisdictional boundaries. 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," he said.

Anyone with information about the three men is asked to call Palo Alto policed at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be e-mailed to paloalto@tipnow.org or sent by text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984.

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 12, 2013 at 6:49 pm

Oh, YES! Great job Redwood City Police Department. Thank you.
Please, judicial system, give these three the punishment and very long or permanent separation from society they so richly deserve!
Great job Bay Area Police!
So glad I happened to see this.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sylvia
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 13, 2013 at 12:30 pm

Great to hear these miserable perps have been caught. That 7-Eleven is in my neighborhood. Scary to think that a violent, armed robbery happened in our neighborhood. They appeared to be targeting 24 hour convenience stores all over the Bay Area, and I'm relieved their crime spree is at an end.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Gethin
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 13, 2013 at 12:44 pm

Gethin is a registered user.

Excellent news - excellent police work!
I will be curious to see what kind of sentences they get.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Dawson Figley jr.
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Nov 13, 2013 at 1:02 pm

Were they caught in the act or do they just resemble the robbers???


 +   Like this comment
Posted by palo alto resident
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Nov 13, 2013 at 1:10 pm

@Dawson - sounds like they were caught in the act during another burglary and evidence was found at their homes linking them to this one.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by brother
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 13, 2013 at 5:09 pm

this is a lie they got a call and just pick them up there is no proof that they....... i hope the police can sleep at night knowing they got the wrong people in jail ........ not only do they hurt family but they also violated our rights just be cuz they think we don't know our rights...........we need real cops this is not right we serve god........they got much to do here free my brother


 +   Like this comment
Posted by our rights
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Nov 13, 2013 at 5:22 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


 +   Like this comment
Posted by free my brother
a resident of Menlo Park
on Nov 13, 2013 at 5:30 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


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