A man suspected of robbing a person he'd just befriended in downtown Palo Alto earlier this month was arrested for the crime Tuesday afternoon, police have announced.
The robbery occurred on Aug. 6, at about 11:30 p.m., in the 300 block of University Avenue. A man in his 60s reported to police that he'd just been robbed of his wallet by a man he'd met at the 7-Eleven on Waverley Street just minutes earlier. The pair had been on their way to buy a cup of coffee together, the victim told police.
Melroy Travenia has been arrested for an Aug. 6 robbery in downtown Palo Alto. Courtesy Palo Alto Police Department.
On Aug. 8 an off-duty detective from the Palo Alto Police Department spotted Melroy Travenia, 52, getting on a bus on University Avenue at Bay Road in East Palo Alto. Noticing Travenia's resemblance to the reported robber, the detective called his supervisor, who coordinated with on-duty patrol officers to follow the bus, police said.
When the bus stopped at the University Avenue train station in Palo Alto, officers detained Travenia for investigation. Officers learned he was on active parole in San Mateo County for burglary. Officers contacted his parole officer, who issued a parole violation. Police booked Travenia into the Santa Clara County Main Jail on that violation, police said.
Over the course of the next two weeks, detectives conducted follow-up investigation into the case. During that time, Travenia was released from custody after his parole violation expired. On Thursday, Aug. 21, detectives presented the case to the Santa Clara County District Attorney's office, who filed a single felony charge of robbery against Travenia.
Police obtained a warrant for his arrest Tuesday morning, Aug. 26, and worked in conjunction with the parole officer to arrest Travenia at about 1:15 p.m. in the 1700 block of Bay Road in East Palo Alto. Police booked Travenia, who has no permanent residence, into the Santa Clara County Main Jail pursuant to the robbery warrant.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the department's 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or sent via text message or voicemail to 650-383-8984. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through the department's mobile app, downloadable at bit.ly/PAPD-AppStore or bit.ly/PAPD-GooglePlay.