Crook who shot PetSmart clerk wanted in series of Bay Area robberies 

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  • Courtesy photo

A “relentless” manhunt has been launched for the heartless robber that shot a sales clerk at the San Mateo PetSmart last weekend.

Cops believe he may be responsible for "a large series" of gun-toting heists in Bay Area cities.

The sales clerk, a 34-year-old San Mateo man, survived the robbery at the PetSmart at 3520 S. El Camino Real. A second employee was also injured during the heist, a company spokeswoman said.

The vicious thug entered the store shortly after 8 p.m. on Saturday. He demanded cash and then fired several shots at the clerk, striking him once, police said. He fled the store and hasn’t been found.

The victim is lucky to have survived, San Mateo police Sgt. Dave Norris said Tuesday.

"Without the quick action of medical crews, it could have been a lot worse," Norris said.

Fifteen customers were in the store at the time of the shooting. They were interviewed by police at the store.

The store employees are "doing as well as can be expected," PetSmart spokeswoman Michelle Friedman said Tuesdsay.

Investigators in multiple Bay Area cities are now working together to catch the crook, who is believed to be responsible for multiple heists. Norris said.

"It’s not just PetSmart," he said. "There are a couple other retail outlets in which the robber had a similar [method of operation]."

Police have not said where and when the crook has struck. They don't want to hinder their investigation, Norris said. Detectives from several jurisdiction planned to meet "in the near future" to develop an action plan, he said.

Meanwhile, police released a sketch of a suspect in the hope that someone might spot him and turn him in. The suspect is described as a black man about 30 to 35 years old, 5 feet 9 inches, 180 pounds, wearing a black cap and black sweatshirt, police said.

The San Mateo Petsmart store has offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect.

Anyone with information is urged to contact the San Mateo Police Department at the following numbers: SMPD Investigations Bureau: (650) 522-7650; SMPD Secret Witness hotline: (650) 522-7676; Anonymous Text to SMPD: 262-3473; Anonymous email to SMPD:

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