News Release News Release The City of Palo Alto
Communications Department
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301


Subject :

Woman Arrested After Robbing Bank on California Avenue
Contact : Brian Philip, Detective Sergeant, Police Department    650-329-2413
Joyce Rodriguez booking photograph
Palo Alto, CA -- A woman entered a Wells Fargo Bank in Palo Alto on Wednesday afternoon and robbed the bank of an undisclosed amount of cash.  Police located and arrested the woman a short distance away. 

On Wednesday, September 3, 2014, at about 2:31 p.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a call from an employee of the Wells Fargo bank branch, located on the 500 block of California Avenue, initially reporting that a suspicious woman was inside the bank.  While on the phone with our dispatchers, the caller reported that the woman had just robbed the bank.  Officers arrived in the area within three minutes of the original call, and detained the suspect without incident as she was walking in the 2300 block of Yale Street.

The investigation revealed that the suspect entered the bank and, after waiting in line, presented a note to the teller demanding money.  The teller complied with the demand.  The suspect fled on foot, walking northbound through a parking lot north of the bank before disappearing from view.  The suspect shed and hid a wig and much of her clothing in a nearby carport, in an apparent effort to thwart detection by officers.

Officers responding to the area located the suspect, clad in a brassiere and jeans, walking northbound on the 2300 block of Yale Street.  20-year-old Joyce Rodriguez of San Francisco was arrested there without incident.  Detectives located the discarded and hidden clothing and wig nearby.

Detectives from the Palo Alto Police Department are actively working with detectives from several other area law enforcement agencies to determine if Rodriguez is responsible for any other recent bank robberies. 

Rodriguez was arrested for felony robbery, felony burglary (for entering the bank with the intent to commit theft), destruction of evidence (a misdemeanor), and an outstanding misdemeanor warrant for prostitution out of Santa Clara County.  Officers booked her into the Santa Clara County Main Jail.  A booking photograph of the suspect is attached to this release.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call our 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413.  Anonymous tips can be emailed to 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 or