'Customer' turns robber, holds up dry cleaners

Asks about leather repairs, then pulls pistol

A Monday night armed robbery at a dry cleaners netted an undisclosed amount of money, but left the owner, who was just closing, shaken.

The holdup took place at Holiday Dry Cleaners in the 3100 block of Santa Rita Road, just doors down from Golden Chopstick Chinese restaurant, which was held up at gunpoint in December.

Sue Hwang, who owns and operates the dry cleaners with her husband, said a man came in at almost 7 p.m. and asked about dry cleaning and getting a leather jacket repaired.

"He pulled out a gun and pointed it at me and said, 'Give me money,'" Hwang said. "I gave him everything (from the cash register). He said sit down and I sat down."

She described the weapon the holdup man displayed as a small black pistol and said the robbery only took about three minutes.

Hwang described the robber as a thin white male, age 40 to 50, with "lots of wrinkles." He was wearing a sweatshirt and jeans at the time of the robbery, she said.

That description differs greatly from other recent Pleasanton holdups. In the Dec. 3 robbery at Golden Chopstick, the armed robber was described as a thin black male, 18 to 25 years old; the suspect in a Dec 18 holdup at Dominoes, near both the dry cleaners and the restaurant, was described as an Asian or Hispanic man in his early 20s, 5 feet 5 and weighing about 120 pounds.

The Union 76 gas station in the 4100 block of First Street was robbed Sept. 23 by a man who pointed a handgun at the lone attendant and demanded cash. The suspect is described as a light-skinned male, possibly Caucasian or Hispanic, in his early twenties, 5 feet 7-9, 140 pounds.

Suspects in a June holdup at Sweet Tomatoes in the 4500 block of Hopyard Road were described as Hispanic males in their mid-20s, one described as 5 feet 6-7, 140 to 160 pounds with a medium build, and the other 5 feet 4-6 with a similar weight and build. Those suspects wore bandannas.

Two separate armed robberies took place in Pleasanton over Presidents Day weekend. One took place in broad daylight in the parking lot at Stoneridge Shopping Center, and involved a man who was approached by a black male who pointed a gun at him and demanded his cash. The holdup man, described as 5 feet 8 inches to 5 feet 9 inches and about 180 pounds, took cash and grabbed a gold chain from the victim's neck.

In the other, 7-Eleven in the 4300 block of Valley Avenue was robbed by two woman and a man who pointed a handgun at the clerk and demanded money. The three were identified as a black male with a slim build, 5 feet 5 to 5 feet 7, with a thin white or Hispanic female, 5 feet 6 to 5 feet 8, and a heavyset black female, 5 feet 3 to 5 feet 5; the black female was also armed.


Posted by BillHilly, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 12, 2012 at 8:23 am

Wow-a white man comitted armed robbery. Don't be surprised if this makes national news.

Posted by olfthfl, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Apr 12, 2012 at 8:34 am

Thank god the WalMart Market hasn't opened yet or it would be their fault for attracting this kind of low life to the area.

Posted by Mad Max, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 12, 2012 at 10:34 am

People laugh when I joke about a future divided world in which a relatively small percentage of the population (say the top 1%???) live in walled cities with heavy security, while the remaining people have a semi-Mad Max existence, fighting for food, water, oil, etc.

Maybe that's an extreme vision, but with what seems like increasing street crime and the rapidly accelerating divide between the 1% and the rest in this society, maybe it's not such an outlandish and implausible potential after all...

Posted by Tilly, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 12, 2012 at 10:38 am

Mad Max,

Get real. You are not funny, but you are a loon.

Posted by Tilly, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 12, 2012 at 10:40 am

Like some others that have posted on Town Square, I am wondering what the Pleasanton Police are doing to focus on these robberies, and why they spend so much resouce trying to catch speeders going just a few miles per hour over the speed limit? It seems they really need to rearrange their priorities.

Posted by John, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 12, 2012 at 10:42 am

Everybody's predicting disaster for our little happy community, but the fact is that nationwide violent crime rates are at their lowest since 1979. We have the impression of increased crime and I don't know where that comes from, media, entertainment, whatever... but the facts don't back it up. We're safer now than we've been in thirty years...

Posted by resident, a resident of Downtown
on Apr 12, 2012 at 12:09 pm

Get over it Tilly. Radar cops citing speeders on First St for 45 in a 25 and using the left turn lane as a passing lane are a good thing. Perhaps if you drove the speed limit and did not get cited yourself you would get off the "few miles an hour" crap and we would all be safer.
Visibility of the cops in any neighborhoods is what we need. If that visibility is while they are citing speeders then I am all for it. Would you rather have them sitting in their cars and talking in parking lots like they do in some nearby cities? There were 4 people hit in the crosswalk at Neal and First in one year. My guess is that all of them were speeding and distracted. Bring on the tickets.

Posted by Michel, a resident of Ruby Hill
on Apr 12, 2012 at 12:24 pm

In a free market economy we should expect this. Where there's opportunity some young enterprising chap can be expected to take advantage. No one has been hurt during these robberies, and if the criminals hadn't committed them somebody else probably would have. What I especially would hate to see result from this is a greater unionized police presence, which would simply add to the police state that already surrounds us. Not to say the robberies aren't bad. They are. But look at the pathetic union presence in this city over the past few months. Bad is bad. Wrong is wrong. I do like Mad Max's idea of a walled city, however. Anything to increase our liberty.

Posted by Mad Max, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 12, 2012 at 2:30 pm

I love how every single topic comes back to unions or Obama for some of you... What don't you find a way to blame them for??

Posted by Steve, a resident of Parkside
on Apr 12, 2012 at 6:17 pm

Nice post gollum. Max, ignore the troll. If no one pays attention to his ranting, he will slink away to another site.

Posted by Michel, a resident of Ruby Hill
on Apr 12, 2012 at 6:24 pm

Steve's point is right on the money. After agreeing with Mad Max's serious and extremely insightful post, Steve directs his attention at the troll by telling others not to pay attention to the troll. That one's sure to work!

Posted by Steve, a resident of Parkside
on Apr 12, 2012 at 8:47 pm

You're right again, troll, it is Obamas and the unions fault. Thanks for the correction.

Posted by Huh, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 12, 2012 at 11:59 pm

Tilly, time for you to hurry up and pay your speeding ticket and slow down so you can quit whining.

There are almost 100 cops working in the city. I would be willing to bet they are dedicating extra resources and working to solve this robbery. Come to think of it, how about you slow down and do the speed limit that way they can focus on solving the robbery instead of taking time out of their busy day to deal with you!

Posted by Pleasanton Resident, a resident of Country Fair
on Apr 14, 2012 at 10:39 am

I hope the owner, Sue Hwang, is doing OK. That was probably very scary for her.

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