Almanac

News - April 30, 2014

Teen arrested in connection with strong-arm robberies

by Sandy Brundage

A fake gun, a purse and several stolen cellphones led police to arrest a Menlo Park teenager April 21 on suspicion of robbery.

Police were investigating two recent strong-arm robberies — one on April 17 in the 1300 block of Hill Avenue and another on April 19 at the corner of Ivy Drive and Almanor Avenue — when they identified one potential culprit.

Based on witness descriptions, officers started looking for a 17-year-old boy, who was on probation for robbery, and located him around 9:45 p.m. on April 21, according to the report.

A search of the vehicle he was in and a nearby yard turned up a replica gun resembling the weapon used in the April 19 crime, cellphones from the victims of both robberies and, inside a garbage can, a purse belonging to the woman robbed on April 17, police said.

The teen was arrested on suspicion of robbery and assault with a firearm. Investigators continue to look for a second suspect who participated in the April 19 robbery; the pair allegedly demanded that a 44-year-old pedestrian hand over his belongings as they approached him on two bikes. When the victim tried to call for help on his cellphone, one teen pulled out what looked like a black semi-automatic handgun and beat the man with it, while the other assailant pointed a can of pepper spray at him, according to the police report.

Police ask that anyone with information about these cases call 330-6300 or anonymous tip line at 330-6395.

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