Bank robber uses 'getaway wheelchair' Crimes & Incidents, posted by Editor, Palo Alto Online, on Apr 4, 2008 at 10:26 am
A man in an electric wheelchair robbed the Wachovia Bank at Stanford Shopping Center Thursday afternoon 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.
Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, April 4, 2008, 9:27 AM
Posted by Michael Scott, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Apr 4, 2008 at 10:26 am
Is this an April Fool's joke? Was he armed? This reminds me of that Simpsons episode where Sideshow Bob steals the Wright Flier, and 2 Navy F-14's try to catch it. After screaming past it, the pilot says, "Bogey's air speed not sufficient for intercept. Suggest we get out and walk."
Posted by James, a resident of the Professorville neighborhood, on Apr 4, 2008 at 11:44 am
C'MON DON KAZAK,
I just read the police department's press release on the city website. How do leave out the fact that the robber also produced a handgun from the shopping bag. Something the readers might want to know I would think. Trying to soften the event or looking for a little spin?
Posted by Tim, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Apr 4, 2008 at 5:44 pm
Now the bleeding hearts will be moaning on how Palo Alto failed this guy, what WE did wrong, what WE should have done to provide for him. We don't even know if he needed a wheelchair or was it is a good 'prop'. And how long will the PAPD solve this case and let it drag on? Hopefully faster that the PACT.
Posted by A.J., a resident of the Green Acres neighborhood, on Apr 6, 2008 at 9:24 pm
Electric wheelchairs are not "green" alternatives to something else. They are wheelchairs with large power supplies that allow disabled people to propel themselves - at a fairly fast clip at top speed (up to 10 mph/ a 6 minute mile, which I'll warrant most of you funny guys couldn't do for any significant distance if at all) - rather than being wheeled manually by someone else. The chairs are bulkier than regular chairs and would actually be fairly difficult for someone on foot to apprehend, especially if the rider were wielding a handgun.
As for whether the chair was a "prop" - that's kind of an expensive prop, do you know what those things cost? It's not like they're as common as cars or bikes, either. Too bad people know so little about them - if witnesses could pin down specifics about the chair, I'm guessing it probably wouldn't be that hard to track down the owner by the description of the chair (and even the perpetrator, assuming it's his chair) and the van with the lift!
I think the knee-jerk criticism of the PAPD is unwarranted. They've made more difficult arrests in recent months, I expect they'll find this guy soon.
Posted by SpaceJam, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Apr 8, 2008 at 12:27 am
I know this guy...he was panhandling last week in front of Starbucks on Unversity Ave. As my girlfriend and I walked by I said, "have a nice day", and gave him two quarters. He replied, "That's only 25 cents each!" The gratitude of some people!
Posted by CrocHunter, a resident of the South of Midtown neighborhood, on Apr 8, 2008 at 12:37 am
KT - I'd like to challenge you to a race. I'll borrow my grandpa's electric wheelchair. We'll go five miles. The winner gets a Sharper Image bag full of Wachovia Bank pens, stickers, and refrigerator magnets.
Posted by ThunderRoad, a resident of the Monroe Park neighborhood, on Apr 8, 2008 at 12:54 am
Check out the picture...there's something familiar about this guy. Didn't I read that the Unibomber was recently released from prison and is living in a halfway house in Northern Calif. I think the article said he's now disabled and was given an electric wheelchair as part of his release agreement. Coincidence?
Posted by A.J., a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Apr 8, 2008 at 1:25 am
Will you please kindly at least censor the name calling by the above resident who fancies himself a comedian?
ThunderRoad - I'm guessing by your oddly angry outburst that you don't realize you are not as funny as you think you are?
Humor as a cover for anger and other negative feelings is rarely as funny as people think it is - with the exception of lawyer jokes... Let's face it, most of the above posts were more political expressions than attempts at real humor. Not that good humor can't be strong political expression, but like lawyer jokes, it does have to actually be funny or it just comes across as angry. Name-calling for no real provocation - also definitely comes across as angry. A better joke in response vs. name-calling - two very different ways to respond that say a lot about the true nature of the poster.
As it is, I'm just puzzled at why anyone would get so angry that a stranger didn't laugh on cue at such a lame attempt at humor. (My not getting it was not a political statement, if that's why you got upset - sorry, no good jokes there.)
Maybe I'm being a little thin-skinned on behalf of the PA police department and the people on the scene. Okay KT, you're in better shape than most people - but I don't think you could outrun a bullet, and I'm glad no one on the scene thought they could try.
Now, if the old guy had WHEELED himself in with a manually powered chair, didn't have a gun, and still got away, THEN maybe I would have chuckled at the allusions to "green" crime...
Posted by ThunderRoad, a resident of the Monroe Park neighborhood, on Apr 8, 2008 at 10:01 am
A.J.- As Shakespeare once said, you "doth protest too much". Perhaps you are not sophisticated enough to understand satirical humor. By the way, your arguments are convoluted and circular. And regarding your armchair pychological analysis...one bit of advice...don't quit your day job! (that is, if you are working). Have a nice day.
Posted by A.J., a resident of the Green Acres neighborhood, on Apr 8, 2008 at 3:12 pm
ThunderRoad - No, I have a pretty keen sense of humor, but as you point out, I'm no psychologist.
Perhaps you could explain to me why it continues to be so important to you to insist that the above lame attempts at humor were indeed funny and to be sure that I, a stranger, either agree or am duly put in my place for not being sophisticated enough to see it?
Posted by ThunderRoad, a resident of the Monroe Park neighborhood, on Apr 8, 2008 at 5:11 pm
Hard to believe the Weekly CENSORED my earlier comment. Oh I forgot, this is Palo Alto and we must be POLITALLY CORRECT at all times. Apparently, some posters can't handle opposing views. If you want to see free wheeling discussions, check out the comments on the Chronicle's site, sfgate.com. On sfgate posters don't have such thin skins....and there's often some rather lively give-and-take. Posters there don't get their FEELING HURT because it's all done in the spirit of open and free debate.