Photo: Russell Young
Originally appeared as a Palo Alto press release –
“Police responded to a report of a man with a gun at Stanford Shopping Center on Saturday evening, and after detaining him safely without incident, determined he had just committed a robbery at a clothing retailer using a replica handgun. No one was physically injured. Police arrested the suspect for multiple charges.
On Saturday, October 10, 2020, at about 6:42 p.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a report of a man with a gun at Stanford Shopping Center at 180 El Camino Real.
The initial call was made by security personnel at the shopping center, who were attempting to keep the suspect under observation. Officers responded immediately and located the suspect on foot, still holding what appeared to a semi-automatic handgun. The suspect quickly complied with commands to drop the weapon, and police took him safely into custody.
Officers soon determined that the weapon was actually a realistic-looking replica handgun. Police found a second realistic-looking replica handgun, still in its original packaging, in the suspect’s belongings. Officers also located a credit card, prescription medication, and personal documents all belonging to other people in his possessions.
The ensuing investigation revealed that the suspect had entered the Timberland store and attempted to pay for $600 of merchandise with a credit card. After the transaction was declined multiple times, the suspect got increasingly disruptive to the point that an employee called security personnel for assistance.
The suspect then removed the replica handgun from his waistband, brandished it at employees, and left the store with the merchandise without paying for it. He then yelled back inside to the employees that he would shoot them in their heads.
The three employees inside the store at the time (a male in his thirties, and an adult male and adult female both in their late teens) feared for their lives. Security personnel responding to the original call for help arrived in time to observe the suspect brandish the handgun at the employees and threaten to shoot them, and they in turn immediately notified police.
Follow-up investigation revealed that the suspect had tried to purchase the two replica handguns with a credit card earlier in the day at Big 5 Sporting Goods at 700 El Camino Real in Menlo Park. After the transaction was declined multiple times, the suspect stole the replica handguns and fled. The Menlo Park Police Department investigated that shoplift.
Police booked 39-year-old Russell Adams Young, a person with no permanent residence address, into the Santa Clara County Main Jail for two felonies (robbery and criminal threats) and two misdemeanors (possession of stolen property and possession of medication without a prescription). His booking photo is attached to this release.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call our 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be e-mailed to email@example.com or sent via text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through our free mobile app, downloadable at bit.ly/PAPD-AppStore or bit.ly/PAPD-GooglePlay.”