|News Release||The City of Palo Alto|
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||PRESS RELEASE #06122017|
|Subject :||Police Nab Duo Who Robbed Cyclist, Also Stole Car|
|Contact :||Zach Perron, Captain, Police Department 650-329-2413|
|Palo Alto, CA – Two suspects ripped a purse from a woman's hand as she cycled in downtown Palo Alto last week. Police arrested both suspects a short time later, and returned the stolen property to the victim. Police were later able to connect the suspects to a vehicle theft that had occurred the night before.|
On Monday, June 5, 2017 at about 12:40 a.m., an officer on routine patrol in the downtown area was flagged down on the 200 block of Lytton Avenue by a woman reporting that she had just been robbed by two men. She provided a description of the suspects, and additional officers responded to the area. An officer located the suspects a short time later in a parking lot in the 400 block of Kipling Street and detained them without incident.
The investigation revealed that at about 12:15 a.m., the victim, a woman in her sixties, had been riding her bicycle eastbound on the 300 block of Lytton Avenue. Two men ran up behind the victim and grabbed onto her purse, which had been hanging on the bicycle’s handlebars. After a brief struggle, the suspects pried the purse from the victim’s grasp and fled on foot northbound on the 300 block of Bryant Street. The victim’s purse contained a small amount of money and a cell phone. The victim was not injured.
Officers located the victim’s cell phone in the jacket pocket of one of the suspects, and the victim’s money in the possession of the other suspect. Police returned the stolen property to the victim. Officers also discovered that the suspects were in possession of a birthday card with a personal check in it made out to someone later determined to be the victim of a vehicle theft (more information on this below).
Police booked the first suspect, 20-year-old Devante Andre Hunt of Newark, into the Santa Clara County Main Jail. Police transported the second suspect, a 17-year-old juvenile from East Palo Alto, to the Santa Clara County Juvenile Hall. Each suspect was arrested for robbery and conspiracy (both felonies). In accordance with our standard release of information procedures, no additional information on the juvenile suspect is available since he is under the age of 18. We do not release booking photographs of juveniles in such situations. The booking photo of the adult suspect is attached to this release.
There have been no similar robberies reported recently in Palo Alto.
On Sunday, June 4, 2017, at about 10:18 a.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a call of a vehicle theft that occurred overnight at a residence in the 300 block of Oxford Avenue. The victim, a man in his thirties, reported that his blue/silver 2008 Mercedes C-300 sedan had been stolen overnight. He believed that his car key had accidentally fallen onto his driveway while he was unloading items from his car. He had no suspect information. One of the items in the car at the time it was stolen was a birthday card with a check made out to the victim. The victim also had left a credit card in the car. The victim discovered that card had been used fraudulently at several locations around the Bay Area with a total dollar loss of less than $100.
On the morning of Monday, June 5, officers were able to connect the two cases based on the birthday card and check recovered in the possession of the two suspects. Detectives went to the Main Jail and Juvenile Hall, interviewed both suspects in relation to the vehicle theft, and were able to determine that they had stolen the victim’s car. They had driven it to Oakland and abandoned it there at an unknown location. The Oakland Police Department was able to locate and recover the vehicle on Friday, June 9. The vehicle had sustained moderate damage, but is being repaired by the victim’s insurance company.
The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office has since filed charges against both suspects for robbery and vehicle theft (both felonies). Police are continuing their investigation to determine if the suspects were responsible for the fraudulent credit card charges or for any other crimes in Palo Alto or surrounding communities.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call our 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or sent via text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through our free mobile app, downloadable at bit.ly/PAPD-AppStore or bit.ly/PAPD-GooglePlay.