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Jack in the Box-Loving Thief Strikes Twice

It appears the same suspect who robbed a Jack in the Box in Palo Alto Wednesday night struck another location in Los Altos less than two hours later.

It appears a male suspect who Wednesday night decided he still needed a little more cash - and maybe another of the chain's delicious tacos? - so he waited approximately 90 minutes and then struck another Jack in the Box just a couple of miles south, in Los Altos.

At 7:55 p.m. Wednesday, March 14, a male suspect entered the Jack in the Box on 2280 El Camino Real in Palo Alto and approached the counter. He gave a handwritten note demanding money to an employee, police said.

The worker complied with the request and emptied the cash register. The exact amount of money the suspect was given is unknown.

Patch has just learned that, less than two hours later at 9:35 p.m., a suspect matching the same description entered the Jack in the Box at 4896 El Camino Real in Los Altos.

This time, however, he decided to show his gun, rather than just a note threatening to.

"The suspect brandished a black, semi-automatic handgun," said Los Altos Police Lt. Cameron Shearer.

The employee behind the counter also emptied the cash register, and the suspect again fled the scene with an undisclosed amount of money.

Why Jack in the Box? Whether it's the lure of a good Jumbaco or that the chain feels like a safe target to the thief, remains unknown.

"I can only speculate on why the robber hit Jack in the Box," said Lt. Shearer. "Usually it has something to do with familiarity."

"The subject could have been a former employee. Maybe his girlfriend works there. Robbers are often superstitious. Maybe he robbed a Jack in the Box once and was successful, so he keeps hitting them. Maybe he works until 8:00 p.m. and it’s the only place that’s left open to rob," he said. "It’s an interesting question, but one we won’t know the answer to until he is caught."

Shearer added, an investigation is ongoing. 

The description acquired by the Los Altos Police is consistent with that of the Palo Alto Police. Lt. Shearer confirmed the suspect's description as being that of a white male, approximately in his 20s, with brown hair and blue eyes, and a goatee. The suspect was reportedly wearing a beanie and a black sweatshirt with red lettering.

A witness also spotted the suspect driving away in a dark silver Honda Odyssey van.

Anyone with information about this case should call the Los Altos Police Department at 650-947-2700. Anyone with information about the Palo Alto case should call the Palo Alto Police Department at 650-329-2413.

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