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


Subject :

Police Nab Wallet Thief
Contact : Brian Philip, Detective Sergeant, Police Department    650-329-2413
Palo Alto, CA -- A man stole a woman's wallet and cell phone outside a coffee shop on Monday.  Police located him nearby and arrested him after a brief struggle.

On Monday, March 16, 2015, at about 7:00 p.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a call from a woman reporting that a man had just stolen her wallet and cell phone outside of the Peet’s Coffee located at the Town and Country Shopping Center at 855 El Camino Real.  She reported last seeing the suspect running northbound through the shopping center.  Officers immediately responded to the area to search for the suspect. 

The investigation revealed that the victim, a woman in her forties, had been seated outside of the coffee shop with her wallet and cell phone atop a table.  The suspect approached the victim and engaged her in conversation.  He then momentarily diverted her attention away from the table before grabbing her wallet and cell phone and running away. 

About ten minutes after the incident, an officer searching for the thief spotted a man matching the suspect’s description, walking in the area of the train platform located at 95 University Avenue.  Upon being contacted by the officers, the subject attempted to walk away and then physically resisted the officers’ attempts to detain him.  After a brief struggle, officers took the suspect into custody.  He was subsequently identified as the suspect who had taken the victim’s wallet and cell phone.  The victim’s property has not been recovered; police believe that the suspect may have hidden or discarded the stolen property when he observed officers in the area.  No officers were injured during the arrest.

The suspect, 19-year-old Moises Carrillo Castillo of East Palo Alto, was treated at the scene by Palo Alto Fire Department personnel for minor facial injuries sustained during his arrest.  Police then booked Castillo into the Santa Clara County Main Jail for felony theft and misdemeanor resisting arrest.  A booking photo 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 may also be submitted anonymously through our free mobile app, downloadable at or