A 21-year-old East Palo Alto man has been arrested in connection with a string of 14 violent street robberies in Palo Alto dating back to Sept. 20, 2010.
Villivuni Fono was arrested for two of the robberies and is a person of interest in one other case, according to police. He is the third suspect who has been arrested in connection with the robberies.
Palo Alto police detectives arrested Fono on Wednesday (Jan. 5) at 5:30 p.m. He was booked into the San Jose Main Jail Wednesday night.
Fono is suspected of the Oct. 27 robbery in the 500 block of Fulton Street. Two men approached a 27-year-old victim near his home. They engaged the victim in conversation and one of the men pulled out a handgun and pointed it at him, police said.
The victim feared for his safety and gave his property to the robbers, who fled with his messenger bag and wallet. The victim was able to positively identify Fono as the suspect wielding the firearm. Police are still trying to identify another suspect.
On Nov. 5, 2010, a victim's wallet was stolen during a robbery in the 500 block of Forest Avenue. A vehicle containing at least three persons approached the victim, displayed a firearm and demanded the victim's wallet. The robbers' vehicle was later located in East Palo Alto and a 16-year-old juvenile suspect was taken into custody and booked into Juvenile Hall.
Ana Loiloi Umufuke of East Palo Alto was arrested in connection with the robbery on Nov. 19, 2010. Information discovered during the investigation also led detectives to Fono.
The Palo Alto Police Department is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for committing the string of robberies that have plagued the city since September. Twelve of the 14 robberies were committed with a firearm or other weapon.
Anyone with information about any of these crimes are encouraged to call Palo Alto police at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be made at firstname.lastname@example.org.