A road rage incident between two drivers fueled armed robbery in which one them stole the other's cellphone at the Stanford Shopping Center parking lot in Palo Alto on Thursday morning, police said.
The incident was reported to police around 9:15 a.m. as a man armed with a gun at the mall located at 180 El Camino Real, police said in a news release.
Two male drivers first crossed paths while driving north on Arboretum Road, where they shouted at each other while behind the wheel, police said. One of the drivers in a sedan threw a cup of cold coffee at the other driver through a window.
The sedan driver then stopped the vehicle, at which point a female passenger exited the car and ran away, according to police.
The targeted driver, a man in his 50s, parked at the shopping center, walked over to the sedan driver and confronted him, police said. The sedan driver, who was sitting in his car, then took out a semi-automatic handgun and made threats toward the other man, who backed away out of fear.
The armed driver headed to the other man’s car, stole his cellphone, then headed back to the sedan and drove east on Sand Hill Road, police said.
The man in his 50s was not injured during the confrontation, according to police.
The sedan driver is described as a Hispanic man in his 20s, tall and heavy set, police said. He wore a red polo shirt that had polo logo and gray pants. The vehicle is believed to be a newer model black Toyota Camry, the release stated. He hadn’t been located by authorities as of late Thursday afternoon.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the department's 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or sent by text message or voicemail to 650-383-8984. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through the police free mobile app, downloadable at bit.ly/PAPD-AppStore or bit.ly/PAPD-GooglePlay.