Attempted armed robbery in Willows neighborhood

by Linda Hubbard Gulker on February 15, 2012

There was an attempted armed robbery around 8:45 pm on Feb. 14 in the 400 block of Laurel Ave. in the Willows neighborhood of Menlo Park. The 52-year-old victim reported she was walking when an African-American male in his early 20s pointed a small black revolver at her and demanded her wallet.

The victim told the suspect that she did not have anything on her,  and he turned and walked to the passenger side of a waiting dark colored older van, which headed west on Laurel. When Menlo Park police officers arrived on the scene, they circulated the area for the van but did not find it.

About 30 minutes prior to the Menlo Park incident, Palo Alto had an armed robbery in which a man in his 50s was walking his dog in the 200 block of Walter Hays Drive. The suspect approached the victim on foot, shined a flashlight into the victim’s eyes, and pointed a handgun at him. The suspect demanded his wallet and ordered him to empty his pockets and drop everything on the ground. The victim complied. The suspect fled the scene with some of the victim’s personal property, and a vehicle was heard leaving the scene at a high rate of speed. The victim was not injured.

Detectives from both agencies are working together to investigate the two robberies. Police suggest that people remain aware of their surroundings when out for walks, and report suspicious behavior immediately to 911. Anyone having information about these robberies should contact the Menlo Park Police Department at (650) 330-6300 or the anonymous tip line at (650) 330-6395.

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