An East Palo Alto man was arrested Sunday on suspicion of using a BB gun to rob a pedestrian of a cell phone and cash in Palo Alto, a police officer said. At about 10:05 p.m. Sunday, a man contacted Palo Alto police about being robbed at gunpoint in the 3800 block of Middlefield Road by a man who drove away heading north on Middlefield Road, police Agent Marco Estrada said.
The robbery victim said he had been walking northbound on the sidewalk in the 3800 block of Middlefield when he noticed a vehicle pull onto Ensign Way in front of him, according to police. The suspect, later identified as 22-year-old Alejandro Valadez Castaneda, of East Palo Alto, then exited the car and started walking toward him. Castaneda pointed a black-colored gun at the victim and demanded he produce an identification card, Estrada said.
After the victim showed his ID card, Castaneda stole the man’s phone, snapped a photo of the card and threatened to “come after him” if he reported the theft of the phone to police, Estrada said. The suspect also robbed the man of a quantity of cash, police said. The victim described the suspect’s appearance and car for police.
Minutes later, at 10:11 p.m., a patrol officer observed a man meeting the victim’s description getting out of a parked car, which also met the victim’s description, in the 1500 block of Edgewood Road, according to Estrada. The officer then detained Castaneda and saw the victim’s cellphone in plain view inside the car, a 2001 Mitsubishi Galant sedan, police reported.
Officers arrested Castaneda and recovered a BB gun from inside the car, police said. Castaneda was booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail in San Jose on suspicion of armed robbery and making criminal threats.
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