A nearby robbery caused students and staff at Los Altos High School and Almond School to shelter in place this morning (Feb. 27) while police searched for the suspect.
Nellie Meyer, superintendent of the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District, and Jeff Baier, superintendent of the Los Altos School District, both said the action was taken out of an “abundance of caution.”
The shelter-in-place directive at the high school began at approximately 10:30 a.m. and was lifted some 45 minutes later. Almond sheltered from approximately 11 to 11:15 a.m., after Baier heard reports of the robbery and learned the high school was sheltering in place.
At approximately 10:15 a.m., a robber armed with a knife stole an undisclosed amount of cash from Caffino, the drive-thru coffee shop at 1947 W. El Camino Real, said Lt. Armando Espitia of the Mountain View Police Department. No injuries were reported.
“The suspect was last seen running south on Clark and so based on that we deployed units into that area,” Espitia said.
Officers received a report of someone matching the suspect’s description running at the corner of Karen Way and Marich Way.
“He was a distance away, but more as a precaution,” Espitia said police told the high school about the robbery and let administrators know the suspect may be running in that general direction.
Given the suspect’s young age and the fact that he was running in the general direction of the high school, Espitia also said there was an “outside chance” he could have been a student.
Principal Wynne Satterwhite sent an email to families a few minutes after 11 a.m. notifying them about the shelter-in-place order.
“Mountain View Police have advised us they are conducting a search in our neighborhood for a robbery suspect,” Satterwhite wrote. “As a precaution, we have initiated a shelter-in-place on campus, which simply means that doors are locked and all students are secure and supervised indoors.”
Satterwhite added that all students were safe, and classes were continuing with instruction. She sent a follow-up email at around 11:20 a.m. notifying families the shelter-in-place had been lifted.
According to Espitia, the robber is still at large and police are actively investigating the incident. The suspect is described as a dark-skinned male, possibly Latino, 19-20 years old, around 5 feet 6 inches tall, wearing a dark-blue sweater with white stripes and gray sweatpants.