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 firstname.lastname@example.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.