At approximately 11:50 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 15, two men in their late 20s were walking near the corner of Villa and Franklin streets when a blue Dodge Dakota pickup truck pulled up, according to police. Police say three men and one woman got out of the truck and robbed the men of their wallets with a Leinad 380, an illegal assault weapon.
"We got the report of this basically instantaneously," said police spokesperson Liz Wylie, who added that the victims flagged down a Fire Department battalion chief who was driving near the station.
A quick description of the suspects and vehicle were dispatched to police, said Wylie, "and then pretty quickly thereafter one of the officers saw the vehicle."
Wylie said the officer, who was alone, followed the truck from the corner of Rengstorff Avenue and Old Middlefield Road until enough units arrived to stop the vehicle as safely as possible on Highway 101 at Embarcadero Road. She said the California Highway Patrol also shut down a portion of 101 near the Embarcadero exit. The arrest "went without incident, thankfully," she said.
Wylie said keeping traffic out of the way in a case like this is much safer for everyone, "especially with this type of gun involved," which she described as an "Uzi-type" weapon.
"When we recovered the gun the victims identified it as well," she said, calling it a "gnarly weapon" that police are "glad to take off the street."
Arrested were Ottoiela Saenz, 21, of Sunnyvale; Jonathan Gomez, 22, of San Mateo; Jose Diaz, 18, of East Palo Alto; and Christopher Enriquez, 39, of East Palo Alto. All were charged with robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery and booked into county jail. Enriquez was charged with possession of the illegal weapon.