Four men who stole a delivery truck containing clothing worth tens of thousands of dollars have been arrested, according to the Palo Alto Police Department.
Police received a call on Thursday, April 21, at about 9:19 p.m. that a large delivery truck, a 2005 Freightliner, had been stolen from Stanford Shopping Center at 180 El Camino Real. Two delivery workers had been dropping off goods to one of the Gap apparel stores at the time.
But police snagged the alleged thieves in large part because one of the delivery employees had left his cell phone charging in the truck. The pair were able to use tracking software to locate the stolen phone at El Camino Real and Stanford Avenue. They provided the information to police dispatchers, the department said.
Arriving officers found the stolen truck parked at the rear of Starbucks Coffee at 2200 El Camino Real, with a van pulled up next to it. The officers saw men loading boxes from the stolen truck into their vehicle. Four men fled on foot when they saw officers, who chased the suspects and arrested them nearby without incident. The suspects and the officers were not injured, police said.
The delivery truck contained boxes of new Gap clothing. Police recovered all of the stolen property at the scene and allowed the workers to continue their deliveries. By the time the officers arrived and arrested the four, they had offloaded 33 boxes containing over $45,000 in new clothing into a 2011 Chevrolet Express. A license plate on the back of the van had been reported stolen in San Jose in December 2015, police said.
A police dashboard-camera video of the incident and the arrests showed a fifth suspect. He emerged from the shadows around the stolen van and then disappeared after the other four suspects ran. That person is unknown and remains at large. He appeared to be a Hispanic male in his 30s wearing a hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans, police said.
The four men were booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail for vehicle theft, possession of stolen property, grand theft, and conspiracy -- all felonies -- and misdemeanor resisting arrest for fleeing from police detention. The men posted bail, but fingerprint matches revealed that three of the men had provided fictitious names to police and jail staff. Detectives will be seeking additional felony charges against the three men for providing the fictitious names, police said.
The men who used the fictitious names have been verified by fingerprint matches as Vincente Ramirez, 50, who has no known permanent address; Carlos Xavier Zhune, 26, of Los Angeles; and Jorge Luis Gonzalez, 40, of Los Angeles. The fourth man, Antony Lopez, 45, also has no known permanent address, police said.
Police ask that anyone with information about this incident call the Palo Alto Police Department at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or sent by text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984.