5 men accused of stealing cargo van loaded with $45K worth of Gap clothes in Palo Alto

PALO ALTO, Calif. (KGO) -- Five men are accused of stealing $45,000 worth of clothes belonging to the Gap at the Stanford Shopping Center. But the thieves, never stepped into the store.

This was a case of cargo theft. Thieves stole the entire truck as the delivery crew was unloading it a week ago. The delivery crew said it's happened in San Jose and Sacramento, but this was the first time in Palo Alto.

Last Thursday at 9 p.m., Palo Alto police say four men took off with this truck filled with Gap clothing. The driver said the thieves made their own keys.

It could have been a total loss, but almost immediately, there was a break in the case.

"The delivery folks realized, hey, we had a cellphone in the car with the possibility of tracking it through GPS technology," said Palo Alto police Sgt. Brian Philip.

Police followed the signal to a Starbucks parking lot about a mile and a half away and encountered the men off-loading the clothes into a van.

"Appears to be lucrative, obviously, because they're stealing large volumes of clothing. In this case, $45,000 by the time we got them," Philip said.

Officers caught and arrested four men, a fifth got away. Then a twist, from the fingerprints taken during booking.

"The returns came in after they bailed out, which led us to understand three of four suspects booked provided false names," Philip said.

Those three now face additional felony charges if they resurface. Police know two of the men live in Los Angeles. Investigators are working to bring all five to justice.
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