Mountain View Voice

News - June 24, 2011

Crime briefs

Armed robbery at 7-Eleven

Two armed men held up the 7-Eleven on Rengstorff Avenue on Monday, June 20, making off with the contents of the store's cash drawer, police said.

The clerk and two customers were in the store when the masked suspects entered, around 6:30 p.m., said Liz Wylie, spokeswoman for the Mountain View Police Department. One of the men, armed with a silver semi-automatic handgun, jumped the counter and pointed his weapon at the clerk, a 52-year-old San Jose resident. The other robber, armed with a black semi-automatic handgun, emptied the cash drawer and patted down the clerk, presumably looking for a wallet, Wylie said.

The two suspects fled with less than $500, heading east on Latham Avenue, she said. One of the customers witnessed the robbery; the other ran out of the store when he saw the suspects enter, Wylie said. Both suspects were wearing sweatshirts and jeans, and neither spoke with an accent, she said. One was about 6 feet tall, the other of average height, and both were of average build, said Wylie.

No one was injured in the robbery. Police used a canine unit from Sunnyvale to try to track the suspects, but in the heat and crowded conditions, the dog quickly lost the trail, Wylie said.

—Andrea Gemmet

pstyle:newitem>Driver with handgun arrested

A man was arrested on charges of carrying a loaded handgun while under the influence of drugs by a officer making a traffic stop on June 21, police said.

After pulling over the vehicle on San Antonio Road near Leghorn Street around 4:25 p.m., the driver told the officer that he had a handgun, said Liz Wylie, spokeswoman for the Mountain View Police Department. A search of the car turned up a baseball bat between the door and driver's seat, a loaded handgun, methamphetamine and multiple syringes, Wylie said. The officer also determined that the driver was under the influence of methamphetamine, she said.

Regan Titchen, 49, of Castle Rock, Washington was arrested on multiple felony charges, including possessing and being under the influence of a drug with a firearm, and a misdemeanor charge for possession of syringes, Wylie said.

—Andrea Gemmet

Newspaper-reading bank heist suspect

Police apprehended a man Friday morning just a few blocks from the bank they believe he robbed about a half hour prior to his arrest.

He was taken into custody on June 17 inside the Starbucks at 750 Castro St. where a plainclothes detective found him reading a newspaper less than 30 minutes after employees of the California Bank & Trust, located around the corner at 700 W. El Camino Real, reported they had been robbed by an individual matching his description, Mountain View police spokeswoman Liz Wylie said.

Employees from the bank called 911 at 9:09 a.m., Wylie said, telling dispatchers that a man had approached a teller claiming he had a gun and demanding money. The teller obliged and the man fled.

At 9:35 a.m., the plainclothes detective saw a man matching the suspect description. The man had changed some of his clothes, but the rest was the same as that described by the bank employees.

The plainclothes officer called for backup and kept an eye on the man until more officers could arrive.

While the officer waited, the man went into the Starbucks bathroom. At that point, the officer instructed everyone in the store to evacuate.

When the man emerged from the bathroom into an empty store, he had changed all of his clothes and had shaved off his mustache.

The officer took the man into custody, and he was positively identified by bank employees, Wylie said. Police found $1,100 on the suspect and discovered his previous outfit in the bathroom trashcan. They did not find a gun.

They will continue looking for a weapon, but he may not have had one, Wylie added. Lawrence Petitta, a 53-year-old transient, was arrested on suspicion of robbery, she said.

—Nick Veronin

Woman arrested in pot bust

Police arrested a Mountain View woman Wednesday after finding 29 pounds of marijuana — with an estimated street value of more than $140,000 —in her apartment.

After receiving an email tip that a woman living in the apartment complex located at 660 Tyrella Ave. was selling pot out of her home, a sergeant with the Mountain View police walked by the apartment numerous times over a number of days to see if he could smell signs of the drug, department spokeswoman Liz Wylie said.

The officer never smelled anything suspicious, but given the specificity of the information provided in the tip-off email, the investigating policeman decided to conduct what Wylie called a "knock and talk" shortly before noon on June 15.

When the tenant answered the door, the officer could "immediately smell fresh marijuana," Wylie said. The woman then let the officer in her apartment, where he found dried, ready-to-smoke marijuana buds "everywhere."

The woman also had scales for weighing out the pot and baggies for packaging it, Wylie said. All told, the woman, whom Wylie identified as 36-year-old Honey Margoles of Mountain View, had 29 pounds of marijuana in her apartment.

Margoles, who was "very cooperative with the investigation," according to Wylie, told police that she had just bought 20 pounds of pot on June 14 for $30,000.

Wylie said the woman did not have a medical marijuana card and was "definitely dealing" the drug. Margoles would have made a hefty profit from selling the pot in one-ounce increments, the police spokeswoman said, and would have reaped even more cash if she sold it in smaller quantities.

"That's why dealers deal," Wylie said. "It's very lucrative, and it's very easy to get very greedy very quickly."

While Margoles may have sold some of the marijuana to individuals with a doctor's prescription, Wylie said, "We do not believe she was selling it only to people with medicinal marijuana cards. Dealers like this are flying under the radar. We don't know, but she could have been very easily dealing to teenagers."

Margoles was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to sell, a felony, Wylie said. She was booked into jail. Police are currently investigating where Margoles obtained the drug.

—Nick Veronin

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