A man in an electric wheelchair robbed the Wachovia Bank at Stanford Shopping Center Thursday afternoon at gunpoint of an undisclosed amount of money.
There was a delay in the bank notifying police, Palo Alto Police Agent Dan Ryan said, and the robber was able to successfully get away. (View the press release)
Ryan explained that the delay in notifying the police was two to four minutes because the bank's alarm notified its corporate office, which verified that there had been a robbery, and then the corporate office notified the police.
"We were there within one minute" of being notified, Ryan said.
The man entered the bank at 4:23 p.m. He was approximately 65-70 years old and had a cast on one leg and a gray beard, witnesses reported. He was described as balding by some. He wore a dark, hooded sweatshirt.
The same man had entered the Sharper Image store at the shopping center earlier and, without making any purchases, asked for a shopping bag with the store's logo, Ryan said. He used that to put the bank money in later.
Store employees had seen him enter a large, white van with red lettering on the side and a wheelchair lift at the rear doors, aided by at least one other man, Ryan said. But bank employees did not see any white van.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the police anonymous tip line at 650-329-2190.