Police are searching for an armed robber who took a man's wallet and cellphone near Palo Alto High School early Sunday morning, police said Wednesday.
The man, who's in his 50s, was walking north on a sidewalk in the 900 block of El Camino Real near the Palo Alto High School parking lot at about 1 a.m. when someone approached him and asked for directions, police said in a press release.
As the man prepared to respond back, the person took out a black handgun from his jacket and pushed him off of the sidewalk to obstruct the view of any passersby, police said.
The armed robber demanded the man's wallet and cellphone, which he handed over, police said. The suspect was last seen running to the high school parking lot, where he entered a red, late 1980s-model Jeep Cherokee and drove east on Embarcadero Road.
The pedestrian said he wasn't physically injured during the robbery. He reported the crime to officers at the Palo Alto police station around 12:50 p.m. Monday.
The robber is described as a white or Hispanic man in his late 20s and about 5 feet, 2 inches tall with a heavy build, police said. He wore a black hooded sweatshirt over a red T-shirt and khaki pants.
Investigators may release a sketch of the robber depending on whether the victim will work with a police artist, police said. They don't believe Sunday's robbery is connected with another that took place on Aug. 21 when two bicyclists took a man's money while he was walking along University Avenue in the Crescent Park neighborhood around 5 a.m.
Anyone with information about either robbery 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 by text message or voicemail to 650-383-8984. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through the police's free mobile app, downloadable at bit.ly/PAPD-AppStore or bit.ly/PAPD-GooglePlay.