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Credit union robbed on El Camino Real in Palo Alto

Original post made on Oct 18, 2012

Palo Alto police are searching for a man who allegedly vaulted over a counter at Star One Credit Union, removed cash from teller drawers and made off with an undisclosed amount of money Wednesday morning.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, October 18, 2012, 12:30 AM

Comments (13)

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Posted by Better-Surveillance-Photos-Needed
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 18, 2012 at 9:52 am

It's a real shame that better surveillance cameras/coverage is not required by law, as well as insurance companies. While this photo is good enough for someone to recognize the robber, it's not as good as it could be. It's just matter of installing small digital recording devices at/about head height near the entrances of doors so that the police have good "head shots" to work with.

Better surveillance is not a big deal. It's just a matter of adding some additional recorders to the existing systems.

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Posted by Marti
a resident of another community
on Oct 18, 2012 at 11:37 am

I agree that better surveillance cameras would be a good think...

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Posted by Jan H.
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 18, 2012 at 2:00 pm

Very surprised the insurance companies don't require a certain standard of surveillance for any institution that handle money or valuables. They would certainly have no qualms in citing a lack of adequate surveillance as an excuse not to pay out!

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Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Oct 18, 2012 at 6:29 pm

The deployed camera resolution is probably at the point of diminishing returns. Sure better photos would help the investigation, but really by how much? They have at least a dozen cameras distributed around the tellers' counter (if all those little black domes are populated), running at whatever frame rate, 15/second? I expect they have hundreds of images of this guy from different angles. And a million frames from other robberies in northern California to begin looking through for possible matches.

For security reasons we may not find out how much cash was taken or how much is generally kept in the teller drawers. The stolen cash maybe could have paid for one more camera installation. Regarding insurance, the amount might not have exceeded the deductible. I wonder whether this guy came by sometime earlier in the month to case the joint, had a friend do it, or just came in cold? Definitely had a place in mind to disappear into.

This is my credit union and right now I'm not pleased. New today, there's a not very intimidating security guard pacing around outside the front door.

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Posted by Jan H
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 18, 2012 at 8:27 pm

It chaps my hide to think that anyone would rob such a consumer-friendly place. If you are so desperate to rob someone, why not PGand E or some other place that regularly cheats the public.

Sorry, but this rant is cheaper than a shrink!

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Posted by HUTCH 7.62
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 18, 2012 at 9:04 pm

Big deal another PA banked robbed I remember when the Midtown Washington Mutual used to get robbed every week by the same three guys for years. Another incident that could of been stopped if Santa Clara county sheriff Laurie smith didn't discriminate against the Concealed carry permit holder rights. Cause we all know PAPD is never around, they can't even stop speeders on ALMA or ticket the bicyclists that blatantly break every traffic law in the book....

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Posted by Bob
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 18, 2012 at 9:20 pm


I don't know what time frame you are talking about but, before this one, Palo Alto hadn't had a bank robbery in 2 or 3 years, and before that its never been more than a couple a year in the 10 years I've lived here.

The fact that you are talking about Washington Mutual should give everone a clue how dated your recollection is. Do you also remember stage coach robberies in town?

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Posted by Better-Surveillance-Photos-Needed
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 19, 2012 at 10:01 am

> how much would better photos help?

Well, better photos would probably be quickly recognized by the FBI's new facial recognition system--

FBI Deploys $1B Facial Recognition System:
Web Link

Perhaps this system can deal with poor quality images, but better photos would help. Of course, the local police would have to utilize this system. Given the hostility that the City of Palo Alto has shown Federal Laws/Enforcement in the past--it would not come as a big surprise if the Police refuse to use the system.

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Posted by neighbor
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Oct 19, 2012 at 1:14 pm


I suppose it's best to just let this pass, but it's hard to not speak up for our police department. How realistic is it to expect them to catch all speeders on Alma, cite all bicyclists running stop signs,and anticipate and foil bank robberies? I think we have a GREAT police department (not perfect, but infinitely better than many towns). As for stopping the robbery via permits to carry concealed weapons, won't even go there.

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Posted by townes
a resident of Green Acres
on Oct 19, 2012 at 6:11 pm

why are police still stopping the same town drunks all the time while youre being robbed?

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Posted by HUTCH 7.62
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 19, 2012 at 10:27 pm

Maybe it's time our developer paid for city council start investing in our Police dept. Hire more officer cause once the Medical MJ bill passes were gonna need every officer we can get.

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Posted by Jan H.
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 19, 2012 at 11:24 pm

Guess what, Hutch: There are twelve FROZEN PAPD openings that need to be filled, but won't be. The annual income they will be paying the new Fire Chief that they lured from Novato would have covered a few of those openings.

The City Council has their priorities a little amiss. Fortunately, we can soon vote them out!

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Posted by JoAnn
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 23, 2012 at 9:25 pm

I'm a member of Star One and go to this office when necessary, but I haven't been there for a year or two. It seems to me they used to have a security guard inside. You were also required to remove your hat and sunglasses when entering; the better for the security cameras to get a picture, I suppose. Maybe they decided to save the money the guard cost.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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