PALO ALTO (CBS SF) – Eight people stormed into a Palo Alto smoke shop, whipped the store employee with a gun and ran off with goods and cash from the registry, police said Friday.
The robbery happened on Thursday night just before noon. 22 in the Raw Smoke Shop at 265 California Ave. The clerk, a man in his 50s, told police that at least two of the robbers were armed with handguns when they entered the store. One of them ordered the clerk to the ground, and another whipped him with a gun in the back of his head.
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While the robbers stole goods and cash from the register, the clerk remained on the ground for the entire duration. He told police he thought most of the suspects were black, but all were wearing face masks and he could not give further descriptions.
Surveillance camera footage of robbers in a Palo Alto smoke shop. (Palo Alto Police Department)
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All the suspects fled the store before police arrived and the victim could not see from his position whether they were fleeing on foot or in a vehicle. The clerk sustained minor head injuries, but he refused medical attention, police said.
Police released surveillance footage of all eight suspects, saying there have been no similar cases in Palo Alto in recent times.
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Anyone with information about this incident was asked to call Palo Alto Police on (650) 329-2413. Anonymous tips can be sent via email to [email protected] or sent via text message or voicemail to (650) 383-8984.