News


Man wanted for brazen carjacking at gas station

Dodge Ram stolen while owner was fueling up the vehicle later found Tuesday at Stanford campus

The owner of a black 2012 black Dodge Ram provided police the above image of his vehicle stolen from a Shell gas station on Embarcadero Road on July 9, 2017 and found at the Stanford University campus two days later. Photo courtesy Palo Alto police.

Police are looking for a man wanted for a brazen carjacking at a Palo Alto gas station near U.S. Highway 101 late Sunday morning. The vehicle was recovered Tuesday morning at Stanford University.

Around 11:50 a.m., the man walked up to the driver of a black 2012 Dodge Ram pickup truck fueling up the pickup truck at the Shell gas station at 1161 Embarcadero Road near Edgewood Plaza Shopping Center, police said.

The man yelled, "Give me the car!" and appeared to be holding a weapon in his right hand placed behind his back, according to police.

The truck owner backed away from the man who entered the driver's seat and drove away, in the process ripping off the gas nozzle and hose, which was later found roughly a mile west from the station at Embarcadero and Middlefield roads, police said.

The Dodge Ram with California license plate number 84634F1 was seen traveling west on Embarcadero Road, police said. The vehicle has a white and blue removable magnetic door seal on the passenger side door.

The carjacking was reported to police roughly five minutes later. Responding officers were unable to find the suspect or truck, according to police.

The truck owner, a man in his 40s, was not injured during the encounter, according to police. He met with investigators and a police artist to help create a sketch of the suspect.

A resident who learned about the carjacking through a post on Nextdoor neighborhood social network found the Dodge Ram parked and unoccupied on the Stanford campus Tuesday morning, police said.

The carjacker is described as a "chubby" Hispanic man in his 20s seen wearing a plain dark-colored T-shirt and dark jeans, police said.

Police are asking anyone with information about the carjacking to call the dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to paloalto@tipnow.org or sent by text message or voicemail to 650-383-8984. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through the Police Department's free mobile app, downloadable at bit.ly/PAPD-AppStore or bit.ly/PAPD-GooglePlay.

---

Follow the Palo Alto Weekly/Palo Alto Online on Twitter @PaloAltoWeekly and Facebook for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

What is democracy worth to you?
Support local journalism.

Comments

11 people like this
Posted by john_alderman
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 10, 2017 at 8:56 pm

john_alderman is a registered user.

Why are the license plate and door seal blurred out in the photo?


8 people like this
Posted by Assembly
a resident of another community
on Jul 10, 2017 at 10:05 pm

[Post removed.]


16 people like this
Posted by Build the Wall (2)
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 11, 2017 at 6:36 am

[Post removed.]


5 people like this
Posted by Scotty the Boot
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 11, 2017 at 9:10 am

It should be a law that in order to operate a business in (county name) business have to install and operate security cameras.


7 people like this
Posted by Mark Silverman
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jul 11, 2017 at 9:48 am

Maybe he needed the vehicle for a family emergency or was late for work. Being that the truck was abandoned and located at Stanford the following day clearly indicates that he had no intention of keeping it. He was probably in a hurry to get from point A to point B and maybe too embarrassed to ask for a lift.





32 people like this
Posted by maditalian_1492
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 11, 2017 at 10:29 am

maditalian_1492 is a registered user.

Mark Silverman,

I'm confused. Are you justifying stealing a vehicle because you're late for work?


1 person likes this
Posted by Mark Silverman
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jul 11, 2017 at 11:04 am

QUOTE: Mark Silverman,
I'm confused. Are you justifying stealing a vehicle because you're late for work?

I am not justifying any perceived crime. Just saying that the guy apparently had his reasons. Until you can walk in another man's shoes (which is impossible), who are we to judge someone's act of desperation? Perhaps we put too much value on material things these days. It was just a truck for crying out loud, no one was injured. That's what you have auto insurance for.


6 people like this
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jul 11, 2017 at 11:16 am

We quit using that gas station due to scary people milling around, because the employees don't care about the customers' safety [portion removed.]


29 people like this
Posted by john_alderman
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 11, 2017 at 11:19 am

john_alderman is a registered user.

@Mark Silverman - Carjacking is a "perceived crime"?? Sheesh, of course you are justifying a real crime, please at least own what you are doing. You are also acting liek teh victim of the crime is some inanimate object, the car, but you ignore the VICTIM a real person who had their life threatened. How about you think about walking in their shoes. They probably aren't sleeping as well tonight as you.


4 people like this
Posted by Hermia
a resident of Triple El
on Jul 11, 2017 at 11:27 am

This article is poorly patched from the original and an update. They recovered the vehicle, but it still reads "the vehicle was last seen...".
Editors, step it up, please!


Like this comment
Posted by Mark Silverman
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jul 11, 2017 at 11:41 am

Quote: @Mark Silverman - Carjacking is a "perceived crime"?? Sheesh, of course you are justifying a real crime, please at least own what you are doing.

In regards to a 'perceived crime', my kids have misappropriated the family cars from time to time and have even threatened various repercussions if they didn't get their way. As a parent, you often have to put your foot down (or reprimand them accordingly for certain inexcusable indiscretions). But I'm certainly not going to call it a blatant crime or have them tracked by the police as law enforcement officers have more pressing things to do.

I've has a car stolen once (a late model BMW) and insurance took care of it via the loss protection coverage. I slept well knowing everything was being taken care of.


8 people like this
Posted by Joe
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jul 11, 2017 at 11:49 am

I thought that gas station has security surveillance cameras. Seems irresponsible not to have those.


Like this comment
Posted by Mark Silverman
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jul 11, 2017 at 11:50 am

Forgot to add. As long as no one was injured in the process, a vehicle is easily replaceable. Besides, I wouldn't want a stolen car returned as I'd just as soon get a new replacement. You never know what took place in that car during its absence.


1 person likes this
Posted by Latrelle W.
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jul 11, 2017 at 12:10 pm

I wish someone would steal my old pick-up. Hell, I'd even give them the keys but wouldn't want that issue to come up in the case of an eventual arrest.

The only disturbing fact was that the perpetrator drove off without returning the gas hose and nozzle to the pump. This would make it difficult for other customers to gas-up.


26 people like this
Posted by Crime is crime
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jul 11, 2017 at 12:11 pm

Threatening a guy and stealing his major property ARE crimes. No excuses.


8 people like this
Posted by Anke
a resident of Mountain View
on Jul 11, 2017 at 12:29 pm

@Mark Silverman, I'm still confused.

"In regards to a 'perceived crime', my kids have misappropriated the family cars from time to time and have even threatened various repercussions if they didn't get their way."

Your own kids taking things without permission is in a whole different ballpark from being threatened by a stranger who appears to have a gun. But let's suppose the carjacker had a family emergency or was late for work. Now he'll get where he needs to be, but what if the victim also had a family emergency or was late for work?


Like this comment
Posted by A Millennial View
a resident of Stanford
on Jul 11, 2017 at 12:39 pm

[Portion removed.]

Threatening a guy and stealing his major property ARE crimes. No excuses.
@Crime is crime

agree. perhaps the key is not to use threatening gestures during the course of committing a crime. if apprehended and convicted, restraint can shorten incarceration time which is a significant consideration (and often a hindsight).

it's too bad we can't have cars available for everyone's use like google does with bicycles. liability probably negates the overall viability of such a practice.




1 person likes this
Posted by A Millennial View
a resident of Stanford
on Jul 11, 2017 at 12:48 pm

Your own kids taking things without permission is in a whole different ballpark from being threatened by a stranger who appears to have a gun. But let's suppose the carjacker had a family emergency or was late for work. Now he'll get where he needs to be, but what if the victim also had a family emergency or was late for work?
@Anke

that's why we need informal ride-sharing in PA and other communities. there are way too many single drivers creating traffic gridlock and taxi drivers always have a way of running up the tab.

we are supposedly an enlightened society (especially here in Palo Alto). it's time to reach out to our fellow man and share the expenses of everyday life as some can afford it more easily than others.

too many people nowadays living in their shallow world of fancy restaurants, BMWs and real estate investments. it's time to move on to a higher plane of existence.


5 people like this
Posted by Anke
a resident of Mountain View
on Jul 11, 2017 at 12:57 pm


"it's too bad we can't have cars available for everyone's use like google does with bicycles."

"we are supposedly an enlightened society (especially here in Palo Alto). it's time to reach out to our fellow man and share the expenses of everyday life as some can afford it more easily than others."

Very nice sentiments, @A Millennial View. Unfortunately, human nature will always thwart such plans. The experiment has been conducted numerous times (for example, the 1960s-'70s in the USA and Europe). It never works out how people imagine (example: Altamont '69).


Like this comment
Posted by R. Winslow
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 11, 2017 at 1:55 pm

[Post removed.]





16 people like this
Posted by M. Driscoll
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 11, 2017 at 2:28 pm

I'd like to see Silverman pull a similar stunt in the Central Valley (or any barrio) using his brand of logic. We'd see just how far he would get in terms of 'borrowing' someone else's car in order to run a brief personal errand.

As for the idealistic Stanford/Millennial, fortunately I'll be dead by the time you and your kind have any real say or an active role in policy-making.
In the meantime, talk is cheap.




13 people like this
Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 11, 2017 at 2:45 pm

Sometimes reading PAOnline is mind-boggling. How do we know "He had a driver's license that gave him permission to drive just about any vehicle" and what's that got to do w/what reportedly happened? And how does the fact that the STOLEN truck was found parked on campus mean that the person who took it was either in a hurry or dealing with an emergency? That's a huge leap of a conclusion. Was it found near the hospital's ER?

It's great that no one was hurt and the truck has been recovered, but those good facts hardly excuse what happened.


17 people like this
Posted by Coming Home
a resident of Ventura
on Jul 11, 2017 at 3:21 pm

Scrolling downwards, it's not too difficult to differentiate those with common sense/basic values from the lunatics.

Having a valid driver's license is also a license to steal? Giving benefit of the doubt to the perpetrator because he may have had an exigency? Free Google cars for those who cannot afford an automobile?

Being a native Texan and a former SEAL, that guy would have gotten the Walker Texas Ranger treatment from me had he pulled the same stunt while I was filling-up my pick-up. With a certain pleasure to boot I might add.


Like this comment
Posted by Marcus
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Jul 11, 2017 at 3:40 pm

[Post removed.]


5 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 11, 2017 at 4:03 pm

"Being a native Texan and a former SEAL, that guy would have gotten the Walker Texas Ranger treatment from me had he pulled the same stunt while I was filling-up my pick-up. With a certain pleasure to boot I might add."

What if the perp is a CURRENT Navy SEAL? Hmmm?

Anyway, I got inside info that all that Walker TR stuff was scripted and staged for TV.


"He had a driver's license that gave him permission to drive just about any vehicle. What do you expect?"

You saw it? Wake up and help the cops. What name and address were on it?


5 people like this
Posted by Deron Willoughby
a resident of Professorville
on Jul 11, 2017 at 4:07 pm

Palo Alto will never become a sanctuary city. Too upscale as its residents and businesses are striving to maintain their property values for future inflationary profit margins. It's also hog-heaven for upscale RE agents given their lucrative sales commission percentages and a seemingly ongoing mantra, "Baby needs a new Mercedes."

It's kind of like Marin County where people love to spew their open-minded and progressive ideals so long as none of the repercussions of social change actually take place in their respective neighborhoods and downtown shopping/dining areas.

Sound familiar?


11 people like this
Posted by Robert Smith
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 11, 2017 at 4:18 pm

Keep in mind that carjackings are very dangerous. Lots of bad things can happen.

The fact that this one appears to have ended without anyone being hurt, or even property damage, does not lessen the seriousness of the crime.


Like this comment
Posted by Goldman
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 11, 2017 at 4:37 pm

[Post removed.]


2 people like this
Posted by zap
a resident of Mayfield
on Jul 11, 2017 at 4:42 pm

Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North

What if the perp is a CURRENT Navy SEAL? Hmmm?


He was clearly UNSAT. so no, he would not be an operator


11 people like this
Posted by maditalian_1492
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 11, 2017 at 5:25 pm

maditalian_1492 is a registered user.

Mark Silverman,

Would you encourage your children to "borrow" a perfect stranger's car if they were having a bad day? You can't steal things and then try to say that it was only borrowing. Just try to walk into a bank with a gun (or pretend to have one) and use that logic: "I was running late, and I was only borrowing the money." Good luck with that!

Since you're being benevolent to the truck-jacker and his feelings, I'll stand in the victim's shoes. Think about the fear he may have been feeling when this jerk came up behind him and demanded that he back away from the truck?!! For goodness sake, what if the victim had a heart attack?

Maybe the victim was late for work as a result. Is that okay? That's not being materialistic either.

If I were the victim, I'd want this guy prosecuted to the full extent of the law to show him that what he did was illegal does NOT matter if he was late for work; was embarrassed...It was a crime.

Don't even get me started on the reasoning that there's vehicle insurance...

Nobody can convince me that my logic is wrong.


Like this comment
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 11, 2017 at 5:51 pm

[Post removed.]


1 person likes this
Posted by Mark Silverman
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jul 11, 2017 at 6:44 pm

For those who disagree with my views and opinions, I can understand your apprehensions as it comes with a certain lack of spiritual attainment or personal evolution in regards to one's 'higher' and/or 'eternal' self. Until we learn to genuinely love and accept even those who are trying screw us along with overcoming our fears (especially in regards to material possessions), we will never rise higher than the high-tech apes that we are and human contentiousness will continue to run rampant during the course of our everyday lives.

While I enjoy driving my BMW and wearing nice clothes, if someone else coveted them I would and could easily pass these items on as I have learned the difference between enjoyment and happiness. It took years to achieve this state of mind but now that I am there, I would never want to return to an existence governed by paranoia over the loss (or theft) of various designer goods and the assessed value of my home in Menlo Park. Life is too short.

So yes, the alleged thief was a 'bad boy' and caused some anguish on the part of the truck owner. The pick-up has been recovered and since there is seemingly little to go on, this incident will probably become a 'cold case' (unless noticeably repeated).

George Clinton once wrote, "Free your mind and your a** will follow." Try it sometime, you might enjoy the outcome. Peace










18 people like this
Posted by john_alderman
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 11, 2017 at 7:03 pm

john_alderman is a registered user.

The Silverman is a parody account?


8 people like this
Posted by Lucinda Wright
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 11, 2017 at 7:57 pm

"The Silverman is a parody account?"

I think he is some sort of gentrified prophet. Either that or an 8-ball.


11 people like this
Posted by maditalian_1492
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 11, 2017 at 8:29 pm

maditalian_1492 is a registered user.

Mark Silverman,

After some thought, I wonder if you are pulling the collective leg of the readers of the comments.

I had no idea that I was dealing with the saint that you appear to be. I would have assumed that anyone with your qualities did not need to brag about them when trying to educate us mere mortals.

By the way, currently, I like my a** where it is. So tell me, how comfortable is the throne you're sitting on?


Like this comment
Posted by Betty Clark
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Jul 11, 2017 at 11:07 pm

If we had service station attendants who filled your car with gas and checked the oil like in the old days, this incident would never have occurred.

The problem with self-service gasoline is that you have to get out of the car and do it yourself. In a affluent town like Palo Alto, we should have gas stations where paid employees handle these tasks on our behalf. It used to be that way as my son worked his way through San Jose State working part-time as a gas station attendant back in the 1950s. There were many service stations back in those days and no one ever filled their own car with gas. The attendants even washed the front and rear windows and checked the air in your tires. They also wore white uniforms and looked quite professional especially at Chevron and Standard stations.

No one hijacked cars in those days while people were buying gas. What has this world come to?


Like this comment
Posted by Paul S.
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 12, 2017 at 12:15 am

"No one hijacked cars in those days while people were buying gas. What has this world come to?"

While car hijackings may have been rarer or non-existent back in the 50s, service station robberies were more frequent. We can't have it both ways unless the modern day service station attendant is either armed or trained in the martial arts which would then make service stations a very safe environment in most cases.

The only drawback is that gas might be a bit more expensive. Figure about $20.00+ per gallon depending upon seasonal blend.

Funny how this kind of stuff doesn't seem to occur while people are charging their hybrids and electric cars. Maybe those places are more mellow and don't attract car thieves.


2 people like this
Posted by Conay of Palo Alto
a resident of College Terrace
on Jul 12, 2017 at 9:00 am

@M. Driscoll

RIGHT ON!! Thank you!


19 people like this
Posted by Former PA resident
a resident of another community
on Jul 12, 2017 at 9:50 am

Folks: "Mark Silverman" is trolling you. Nobody would be OK with having their vehicle taken from them under threat of violence.


3 people like this
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jul 12, 2017 at 12:41 pm

As I was saying, one of the reasons we quit being customers of that gas station- after decades of our family using it - was because of the disrespectful and questionable behavior of the clerks toward the women in my family. It wasn't a fluke, it was ongoing. The clerks were also disinterested in how the weirdoes milling around harass customers. So, we quit complaining and took our business elsewhere. It's too bad that the owner hasn't done enough about these problems and has lost business over it. I'm really sorry for the victim of this scary carjacking. It's a relief that he's unharmed and that his truck was found not far away.


3 people like this
Posted by the_punnisher
a resident of Mountain View
on Jul 12, 2017 at 2:16 pm

the_punnisher is a registered user.

A current joke that is making the rounds cross-country that may explain his behavior:
What is the difference between a BMW and a porcupine?

As for the carjacking, horse thieves got hung because they were stealing the transportation and livelihood of the owner. Now, these deterrent measures are sorely needed today. A public hanging would be a great deterrent today. Unfortunately, we don't have that option today. More people sympathize with the " poor carjacker " these days.


3 people like this
Posted by john_alderman
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 12, 2017 at 5:12 pm

john_alderman is a registered user.

@Paul S. "We can't have it both ways " So we either have to have carjackings, or service station robberies? That's a weird trade-off you are proposing.

The incremental cost of adding some security cameras would probably a fraction of a penny per gallon, not tens of dollars. Arming the attendant might be ill advised, but would be even cheaper than cameras.

While robberies and carjackings have been declining at a large rate for the last 20 years, the numbers are still double what they were in the 50s and early 60s.


5 people like this
Posted by SS
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 13, 2017 at 6:35 am

Silverman: Let's wait and see how you feel/react when something like this happens to you.


5 people like this
Posted by Parenting skills lacking
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jul 18, 2017 at 12:03 pm

Silverman: > my kids have misappropriated the family cars from time to time and have even threatened various repercussions if they didn't get their way. <

More than once?
Speaks very poorly of your parenting skills. My teens never did anything like that. Maybe you have more kids than you can manage. Unsafe and dishonest.


Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Old Palo Alto

on Sep 25, 2017 at 11:55 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


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

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox.

Gluten-free bakery Misfits Bakehouse is reborn in Palo Alto
By Elena Kadvany | 4 comments | 2,722 views

What to do with all those cardboard boxes
By Cheryl Bac | 2 comments | 2,223 views

Premarital and Couples: The "Right" Way to Eat an Artichoke
By Chandrama Anderson | 1 comment | 1,689 views

Some answers, please, PG&E
By Diana Diamond | 11 comments | 1,215 views

What did you learn last week?
By Sherry Listgarten | 6 comments | 1,087 views

 

Race Results Are In

Thank you for joining us at the 35th annual Moonlight Run & Walk! All proceeds benefit the Palo Alto Weekly Holiday fund, supporting local nonprofits serving children and families.

Click for Race Results