It was only about a week ago that I mentioned the poor track record of the strategy of sitting down for lunch in the vicinity of your crime, and now here's a case where this actually may have worked.
Last night in Danville, California, a man said he was robbed after responding to an Internet ad offering to sell a new iPhone 4S. The sale was to take place in a McDonald's parking lot, at night, and presumably at a substantial discount (unless Apple is sold out?), so maybe the buyer should not have been too surprised to see the seller pull out a knife instead of a new iPhone 4S.
After the robber fled, the victim called police, but for some reason he apparently waited almost half an hour before doing so. Police showed up with a helicopter and K-9 units, but couldn't locate the suspect. But then the victim did:
Having talked to witnesses and gathered good leads for their investigation, police were preparing to leave for the night when the victim looked inside the restaurant and saw the suspect sitting at a table eating a meal. "It's him!" he said.
Indeed, the diner matched the suspect's description, [an officer] said. "I know, rocket scientist, right?"
That'd be funnier if they had actually managed to catch him. Police "descended on the restaurant," but forgot to descend on the back door, through which the suspect bolted. He got away in the darkness. Police said they are still "confident they have enough information to ensure he may soon be dining inside a jail cell," but then these are the same guys who let the rocket scientist get away in the first place.
This might be a high-risk, high-reward strategy, because it does strike me that a McDonald's would be a good place to hide from K-9 units. On the other hand, their restaurants do tend to have pretty big windows.