Final arrest made in brazen robbery outside bank

Gerardo Yepez-Soto apprehended in Redwood City by San Mateo County Sheriff's Office Gang Task Force

Gerardo Yepez-Soto, the final suspect wanted in connection with a robbery outside Wells Fargo Bank Monday (Aug. 1), was arrested in Redwood City Wednesday night by members of the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office Gang Task Force, Palo Alto police announced.

Palo Alto police issued a multi-jurisdictional bulletin after identifying Yepez-Soto and "within hours" members of the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office Gang Task Force, who were familiar with him, found him in Redwood City and arrested him, police said in a statement.

In the 11:05 a.m. robbery, a female victim, an employee of McDonald's, was in the process of taking a large cash deposit from the business to the bank at 505 California Ave. in Palo Alto.

As she neared the bank, a male suspect, identified as Ismael Aquino-Flores, 20, of Redwood City, approached her and forcefully removed her purse, which contained several thousand dollars, police said.

Aquino-Flores fled to a waiting green Honda Accord. An associated silver Honda, which was waiting nearby also fled the scene.

A witness at the scene described the two vehicles. Palo Alto police fanned out and quickly caught up to both vehicles.

A detective working undercover spotted the two vehicles on Churchill Avenue. She followed the two cars until additional police units arrived.

Attempting to evade police, the two vehicles split up.

Police stopped the silver Honda Civic at Greer Road and Tulip Lane and arrested Fabian Delgadillo, 21, of Redwood City.

The green Honda Accord was pulled over in Old Palo Alto, near the intersection of Coleridge Avenue and Cowper Street, police Sgt. Wayne Benitez said. Aquino-Flores was taken into custody.

Yepez-Soto, the driver, fled on foot through residential back yards. Police summoned a canine unit and a California Highway Patrol helicopter to the scene to search for Yepez-Soto and had cruisers positioned at major intersections around the neighborhood but were unable to find him Monday night.

Detectives discovered that the three suspects acted together to carry out the robbery. Yepez-Soto worked with the victim at McDonald's and had knowledge regarding when and where cash deposits were to be made, police said.

All of the stolen property was recovered and returned to the victim.

Related story:

Police search for suspect in Palo Alto robbery

— Palo Alto Online staff

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Like this comment
Posted by Manuel
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 4, 2011 at 9:38 am

PAPD, I know that you face much scrutiny and criticism, often time unfair and disrespectful. Your job can be thankless. But not this time. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

Like this comment
Posted by citizen
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 4, 2011 at 10:04 am

Go PAPD well done !

Like this comment
Posted by Maria
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 4, 2011 at 10:12 am

The bag had 10k in it, obviously an inside job.

Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Aug 4, 2011 at 11:21 am

If the gang task force were familiar w/him, I wonder about the whole McD's hiring process. I am sorry those things can't always be sussed out in the hiring process, since it's dependent on other factors such as criminal background and how deep gang involvement is. But the great bottom line here: no one was injured and they were caught.

Like this comment
Posted by Neighbor
a resident of JLS Middle School
on Aug 4, 2011 at 11:43 am

FANTASTIC work by the Palo Alto PD and San Mateo County Sheriff's Office!!! They deserve our respect, admiration and accolades for being out there every day protecting citizens!

Like this comment
Posted by Steve C
a resident of Menlo Park
on Aug 4, 2011 at 11:58 am

The really sad part is, because this was an inside job, it will make it even easier for employers to deny offenders a chance to pull their lives together via real employment. Yeah, it was only a job at MacDonald's but it was a step in the right direction. And anyone can tell you that if you don't already have a job, you aren't going to get one in these bizarre times.

Like this comment
Posted by Wondering?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 4, 2011 at 12:29 pm

Neither of the two Weekly articles on this topic have suggested that the victim recognized one (or more) of the "perps", but presumably she did.

$10K is not a lot of money to split between three people, so one can only wonder what these guys were planning to do next? [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.] $3,300 will get you to the Mexican border, but so will a week or two working at Mickey D's.

So .. what in the world were they thinking?

Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Aug 4, 2011 at 12:40 pm

Wondering, most law enforcement people know that the majority of criminals are stupid. This grab and run is a perfect example of stupidity. More of the focus has been on the drama of the whole thing, but your post underscores the stupid shortsightedness of the crime and the criminals. The same goes for the laptop thieves. As my dad always said, "If you're going to risk your freedom by committing a crime, make sure it's for a big payoff." He wasn't teaching us to be cat burglars or jewel thieves, but anyone with their eyes open sees that behind every stupid crime is a stupid criminal. This last moron to be arrested wasn't even *hiding*!

Like this comment
Posted by palo alto mom
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 4, 2011 at 1:12 pm

Congrats to the police on a job well done - thanks!!!!

Wondering - I can't image McDonalds pay more than minimum wage, it would take 10 weeks to earn $3300 - thats without paying any taxes. 10K is a life changing amount of money to many people.

Like this comment
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 4, 2011 at 1:49 pm

It does seem suspicious that these criminals were waiting for this woman to leave the bank. It makes you wonder if they KNEW that this woman would be leaving the bank at that time.

Did they know someone at the McDonald's restaurant who gave them the info?

BTW, our town's McDonald's restaurant seems to have lowered its quality standards lately. Our order is almost ALWAYS wrong. We have been given the wrong food at times...or even some of the food that we ordered was missing. When we ask whether everything is correct, they assure us that it is. We drive off and discover that the specific items that we asked about aren't even in the bag.

A couple of other times, we had our Monopoly tickets missing from our food packages. It was no big deal, but it was odd that someone had taken them off. In addition, I have been forced to communicate in Spanish because the person giving us our order doesn't seem to speak English adequately.

As a result, we gave up on this McDonald's. If someone is giving out inside info about bank times, it makes me glad that we have moved on.

Like this comment
Posted by really?
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 4, 2011 at 2:11 pm

Did you really give up on those fast food?Good for you.

Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 4, 2011 at 2:22 pm

Nayeli, re-read the article. One of the perps worked with the victim at McDonalds and knew when and where cash deposits would be made.

Like this comment
Posted by insider
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 4, 2011 at 2:29 pm

Do they have more of those insiders to help them?

Like this comment
Posted by so much
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 4, 2011 at 2:48 pm

the cops jumped to conclusions that it was the minority in waiting ,ready to pounce on innocents at any moment. NO, it was people who knew and worked with each other.thats shows, police jump to conclusions about incidents and sometimes arrest the wrong person. that shows irresponsibility of police and their ''statements''. they knew nothing about the incidents origins, yet they made it sound like people are randomly casing people to commit crimes. no doubt this happens, it happened to me, but it shatters rthat myth that ALL ''minorities are wolves waiting to randomly attack hard working people. no , these WERE hard working people. you workd mc donalds you ARE hard Working. they knew each other. yet police make broad generalizations about SPECIFIC incidents. thats fear mongering. more fear added to the already off the charts fear in this world. no it wasnt random minorities waiting to pounce. it was people who knew each other. when it comes to non whites, police always assume the worst. that is why police cannot be trusted for any reason. they have too much authority to be lying about people, which they do. people seem them as gods. they certainly are no better than any person. XB9E

Like this comment
Posted by Milton S.
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 4, 2011 at 4:50 pm

You're absolutely right So Much, not all minorities are criminals. Most are indeed hard working and law-abiding. We all need to be reminded of that, however there does seem to be a disproportionate number of minorities that are involved in at least street crimes and gang affiliations. Many of the negative impressions stem from that reality. You seem to be in the know, any ideas or thoughts on why this seems to be the case? Not being sarcastic at all. I truly want to hear your thoughts.

Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Aug 4, 2011 at 7:20 pm

Nayeli, which McD's did you used to frequent? These guys all worked at the one in PA on ECR, not far from the bank the employee went to make the deposit at. So ironic that this happened by a Wells Fargo, some of the biggest thieves in town.

Like this comment
Posted by Mike
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 4, 2011 at 9:18 pm

Great work PAPD! Yet another example of our hardworking public safety professionals keeping our city safe! Thank you!!!!

Like this comment
Posted by easily
a resident of College Terrace
on Aug 5, 2011 at 1:14 pm

you could easily say a ''disproportion'' of whites were involved in the slaughter of millions of native americans and africans. no one seems to have a problem with that

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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