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Palo Alto police release sketch of wanted bank robber

Original post made on Jan 9, 2013

A man who robbed the Provident Credit Union in Palo Alto Wednesday afternoon remains at large. The man, who police described as a tall white man in his 30s with a scar above one of his eyes, entered the bank at around 3:30 p.m. and pointed a handgun at the tellers. He escaped with an undisclosed amount of cash, Palo Alto police said.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, January 9, 2013, 4:08 PM

Comments (20)

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Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 9, 2013 at 4:49 pm

Flip flops?

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Posted by Mr.Recycle
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 9, 2013 at 5:14 pm

For a second I thought the Udacity guy was the robber..

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Posted by photo
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 9, 2013 at 5:34 pm

PAPD posted a surveillance photo of the people on their Facebook page.

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Posted by photo
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 9, 2013 at 6:53 pm

A couple of months ago, a series of robberies around town were committed by a suspect or suspects described as skinny younger white men. PAPD circulated an artists sketch. Was that perp ever identified or caught? If not, is there enough of a pattern now to start racial profiling? Armed robbery needs to be treated extremely seriously.

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Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 9, 2013 at 7:52 pm

Had to think a minute why PAPD posts to Facebook rather than their own area of the City's website. I suppose Facebook reaches more people more quickly, since more people routinely log in to Facebook than look at the City website, and PAPD items will be right there in front for anyone who has indicated an interest. Probably not too late to buy some FB shares.

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Posted by photo
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 9, 2013 at 9:02 pm

They sent out an official press release with the surveillance photo a few minutes after the Facebook post. I guess Facebook needs less writing than the press release.

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Posted by Why So Fuzzy?
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jan 9, 2013 at 9:09 pm

Why do those business cameras always have out-of-focus photos? See Palo Alto Patch's photo: Web Link Technology can surely do better than a photo of. . . oh, a Caucasian male in a white baseball cap but I can barely see any other features! And I am supposed to recognize him on the street? And the cameras are always above so we can't get a straight shot of the face. Don't they have mini camera lenses these days that they can post basically everywhere?

I saw a photo of a man stealing packages from a house in Palo Alto and the camera photos were so clear that I could practically see a zit.

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Posted by photo
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 9, 2013 at 10:33 pm

If you see anyone with the right height and build and facial shape, just call the police and let them sort it out. Better yet, if you personally know someone that looks like this, then call the police immediately. The press release says he is armed and dangerous, so don't confront him. Let the police do their job.

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Posted by photo
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 9, 2013 at 10:43 pm

Here is the PAPD press release with 2 photos and the suspect description: Web Link

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Posted by Felicity
a resident of Los Altos
on Jan 10, 2013 at 10:32 am

Hey, that's my bank! But seriously, just the flip flops indicate this is not a career criminal. I am willing to bet:

Not a real gun (I would still take it seriously but I bet it wasn't or at least wasn't loaded) and the money is for an addiction to a narcotics; oxy is the top choice


someone at their wit's end and broke, and this was the solution their stressed brain came up with.

BTW, expect more of this. A lot more.

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Posted by Carlito waysman
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 10, 2013 at 12:17 pm

Somebody was asking about why the video images of the cameras are so fuzzy that makes very hard to describe the physical characteristics of a subject.

The main reasons:

Cheap cameras, cheap recording equipment, cheap wiring/connectors, sub-par installation. Is not as simple as going to Cosco and buying a camera kit box.

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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Stanford
on Jan 10, 2013 at 3:29 pm

Looks pretty similar to the guy who robbed the downtown Walgreens a few months ago.

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Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 10, 2013 at 6:14 pm

Just because the guy is wearing the same blue shirt and white cap and carrying a yellow bag?

Walgreen's December 3 -- Web Link

Provident Credit Union January 9 -- Web Link

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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jan 10, 2013 at 6:27 pm

Musical, it would seem he needs a new hat, or a mask, if he keeps this up.

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Posted by Anymouse101
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 10, 2013 at 7:29 pm

I read the story this a.m., and thought I had seen his face before -- and it came to me, also, the WALGREEN'S Pharmacy robbery.

I wonder if the PAPD have thought of this -- his nose, definitely, looks the same in BOTH photos, and the facial structure seems the same. The hats are both white, but different hats, I think the blue shirt has writing on the front-right side on the Walgreen's photo, no writing on the other photo.

Well, I wear very similar clothing all the time, I buy lots of the same 'types' of clothing, maybe this guy has more than one blue shirt, more than one white cap -- I'm just thinking his facial features and expression are the exact same in both photos captured.

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Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 10, 2013 at 9:53 pm

The credit union put him at 6-foot-1 and Walgreens had him "about 6-feet to 6-feet-2-inches." Maybe different hats but those long arched bills sure look similar. The jacket collar seems to stand up open around his neck the same way.

Though it looks blue-ish on my monitor, the jacket was described as tan here and gray at Walgreens. Fluorescent lighting will affect how colors are perceived by humans and by cameras, or maybe they are different jackets. Apparently the large bags were used to conceal the weapon, and perhaps also the identifying hat as soon as he got out of sight. I must assume PAPD is way ahead of us, but they haven't tipped their hand.

Felicity of Los Altos (6 posts up) may have nailed it, venturing that the guy's problem is addiction with oxy as "the top choice."

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Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 10, 2013 at 11:23 pm

I agree: Those two men look identical. In fact, the jackets look the same to me!

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Posted by resident
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 10, 2013 at 11:27 pm

Artists sketch of the suspect: Web Link
Very distinctive scar next to his right eye.

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Posted by Bob
a resident of Community Center
on Jan 11, 2013 at 6:51 am

Cold weather - and no shoes - flip flops. No mask - distinctive height and build. I'll bet
this is a desperate man hoping to get caught to get medical help, food, and a warm place to sleep. On drugs? Probably. And I'll also bet he's a vet - maybe war wounded. physically or mentally. Iraq or wherever. Their number is legion.

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Posted by Alan
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jan 13, 2013 at 8:41 am

Well the scare near the right eye will give him away. That isn't too common, and he certainly does look like the same guy as the Walgreen's person.

Also agree with comment earlier about out of focus video. Why would a bank have a sub-par video system when it seems really good small camera systems are available now days?

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