Three men have been arrested in connection with the Oct. 14 armed robbery of a Palo Alto 7-Eleven, police announced Tuesday.
Palo Alto police credited their counterparts in Redwood City with helping them crack the case.
Redwood City police arrested the trio at about 1:30 a.m. on Oct. 25 after responding to a report of a burglary in progress at Peninsula Liquors at 717 El Camino Real. Officers recognized them from a wanted bulletin Palo Alto police had distributed to neighboring law enforcement agencies following the armed robbery of the 7-Eleven at 708 Colorado Ave.
Officers contacted Palo Alto police after booking the men into San Mateo County jail for burglary and conspiracy.
Police identified the men as 23-year-old Joachim Piliote Maka, 27-year-old Apolosio Piutou Tupa and 24-year-old Joshua N. Faoa, all of East Palo Alto.
Maka is suspected of wielding a shotgun or rifle and demanding money from a clerk during the Palo Alto crime. He also allegedly punched the clerk in the face and took his wallet. Police said Tupa and Faoa stole miscellaneous items.
Warrants were issued for the men. Police arrested Maka and Tupa on Nov. 6 at the San Mateo County jail, where they were still being held in connection with the Redwood City crime. Maka and Tupa were also on probation for previous convictions at the time of their arrest, Maka for carrying a loaded firearm in public and Tupa for being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Detectives carried out search warrants at two residences in East Palo Alto in an effort to find Faoa, who was no longer in custody. They ended up finding evidence linking the trio to the Palo Alto crime as well as the Oct. 17 armed robbery of a 7-Eleven at 975 Rollins Road in Burlingame.
Faoa surrendered to Palo Alto police on Nov. 7. The Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office has since charged each of the men with one count of felony robbery, police said.
"This case highlights the importance of police agencies sharing information, since criminals routinely cross over jurisdictional boundaries," Lt. Zach Perron of the Palo Alto Police Department said in a statement.
"The officers from the Redwood City Police Department did a great job of recognizing a possible connection to our case and notifying us in a timely way. We really appreciate the help."
Anyone with information about the men is asked to call the Palo Alto Police Department's 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Tipsters who wish to remain anonymous can text or call 650-383-8984, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.