Menlo Park: Two armed robberies on Sunday


A man armed with a large silver revolver got away with an undetermined amount of cash in an armed robbery of the BevMo liquor store in the mini-mall at 700 El Camino Real in Menlo Park at around 6:50 p.m. Sunday, May 1, police report.

In the 1300 block of Willow Road in Menlo Park, a few minutes earlier, at 6:40 p.m., a man carrying what appeared to a knife accosted a 15-year-old pedestrian, told him to empty his pockets, and got away with a cell phone, said Nicole Acker of the Menlo Park Police Department.

There were no injuries in either incident, police said.

In the liquor store robbery, the suspect, a black man in his late 20s to mid 30s, ordered an employee out from behind a cash register to find the store manager, police said.

At the manager's booth, the suspect ordered the manager to remove the contents of the store's safe, which he did, and then to empty each of the store's four cash registers, police said. The suspect took money from one of the registers, police said. The others could not be opened.

A customer in the store at the time did not know it was being robbed, police said.

The suspect, who fled on foot, was wearing a black beanie, a black mask over his nose and mouth, a gray hooded sweatshirt, blue jeans and white shoes, police said.

The suspect in the Willow Road robbery is thought to be an Hispanic man between 18 and 20 years old, 5 feet 10 inches tall and of slender build. He was wearing a black hat with a white logo and blue jeans, police said.

He was a passenger in a tan Chrysler four-door sedan driven by another Hispanic man, police said.

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Like this comment
Posted by Fleazle Queequag
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on May 2, 2011 at 1:48 pm

Didn't take long for BevMo to attract just the sort of "patron" we'd hoped for with a chain liquor store. Seriously, glad no one was hurt but I'm none too surprised this store was targeted so quickly.


Like this comment
Posted by Anonymous Mom
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 2, 2011 at 1:58 pm

Town Council,
I really wish you hadn't chosen a (completely duplicative) business that makes my family's neighbirhood unsafe. We were eating dinner at Jeffrey's next door during the commotion of the armed robbery, and it certainly made us feel like we were not in Menlo Park.

Like this comment
Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on May 2, 2011 at 2:13 pm

If my memory is accurate, Menlo Park has recently had robbers, burglars, embezzlers, drug dealers, child molesters and drunk drivers. That's life in the big city.

To blame the victim, in this case, Bevmo, is beyond absurd.

Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 2, 2011 at 3:09 pm

Yep, there was no crime in Menlo Park until the Bevmo went in. No bank robberies, no thefts, no burglaries, etc. Get real.

Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on May 2, 2011 at 3:17 pm

Thanks, POGO & Menlo Voter, you hit it on the head as usual. It could just as easily been any other store - included the long time liquor stores or even Jeffrey's.

Years ago, I was having dinner at Kabul in San Carlos and across the quiet shopping center, the Long's Drugs was robbed at gunpoint. Crazy Long's - always asking for it!

Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Resident
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 2, 2011 at 4:53 pm

While this could have been any other store, it wasn't. I find the fact that a liquor store was targeted for a robbery to fit a consistent pattern for crime. There is absolutely no reason why this store should be located in Menlo Park and it has obviously attracted crime elements that we don't want in our community. We should expect better from our city council.

Like this comment
Posted by Elizabeth
a resident of Atherton: Lloyden Park
on May 2, 2011 at 4:54 pm

Hmmm and Menlo Voter are right, Unfortunately no city is exempt from robberies, thefts, drunk drivers, etc. It was less than a week ago that a drunk driver hit a school bus in Menlo Park at 7:30 in the morning. And wasn't there a bank robbery, or attempt, in Menlo Park recently? We all have alarm systems in our homes for a reason.

Lloyden Park, Atherton

Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on May 2, 2011 at 5:50 pm

How come no one cares enough to comment that family members of a business in your community ripped off people? Web Link
Losses in excess of $100k & no comments? This was

Yeah, armed robberies are terribly dangerous, but it's interesting the ire that BevMo draws- like it's their own fault they were robbed. What, you don't think it could've been that beloved overpriced family liquor store? Of course it could, just as it could've been a gas station, convenience store, deli, grocery store, fro yo place, etc. A retail store such as this - par for the course.

Like this comment
Posted by Ranch Gal
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on May 2, 2011 at 6:47 pm

Excuse ME??? Beltramo's has been here since wayyyy back in the 1960's as I recall as a child when it had even a cocktail lounge in back and I don't recall ONE robbery of it. Banks, jewelry stores, all easy targets for robberies. Come on folks, you really didn't like BevMo in the first place did you? Well personally I am neutral on it, but consider those who say BevMo is attracting "those type of criminals" are delusional!

Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 2, 2011 at 6:49 pm


using your logic we should get all of the banks out of town as they get robbed. I'd be willing to bet with more frequency than a Bevmo. For that matter using your logic we should run all bars and restaurants out of town too as they sometimes get robbed. Not logical. Try using your head.

Like this comment
Posted by Ed Ucated
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on May 2, 2011 at 7:12 pm

wow, I thought there were smart people in menlo park!

Like this comment
Posted by Mariana
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on May 2, 2011 at 11:56 pm

[Post removed. Discuss the topic. Please don't attack other posters.]

Like this comment
Posted by TOM H
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on May 3, 2011 at 8:01 am


Like this comment
Posted by complexity
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 3, 2011 at 8:08 am

Unfortunately this event may require a bit more analysis than the prior arguments over Bevmo or no Bevmo.

The reason why Bevmo may have been targeted for crime, isn't because it is Bevmo necessarily, but rather because it is a liquor store in an affluent community located in a robbery sweet spot: the nexus of four arterial roadways. A robber has quick access to go up Sandhill to 280 or down Ravenswood to access 101, or North or South on El Camino. Which way do the police go if the robber gets in and out quickly? Banks in similar locations are also usually targeted for robbery.

The fact the robber brandished a gun means the crime was likely premeditated and planned.

Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on May 3, 2011 at 12:16 pm

Of course it was planned, most of these types of robberies are. Since there are plenty of these types of businesses - near arterial roads - the robberies will continue. I recall many, many bank robberies in MP from decades back. No surprise- but people blaming the victim is a surprise - and a petty, ignorant one.

Like this comment
Posted by Complexity
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 3, 2011 at 1:03 pm

Not just one arterial road, but at the nexus of four arterial roads. A "sweet spot"

And while we should be careful not to "blame" the victim, we also should also examine the incident and learn from the event to prevent future victimization. It certainly isn't ignorant to classify types of businesses at being higher risk for robbery than others. Risk management companies actually do quantify robbery risk based on business type.

Regardless, there is no need to use these facts to continue a debate that has already been decided. The issue is moot.

It might make more sense to use the facts, and the event, to work towards preventing premeditated crime in the future. For example, requesting that the store and property property owner install conspicuous video cameras that point toward the parking lot, and toward exits and entrances to the parking lot. This would help prevent premeditated crime in the future and protect store employees.

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

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