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


Subject :

Police Arrest Woman for Downtown Attempted Armed Robbery
Contact : Sean Downey, Officer, Police Department    650-329-2413
Palo Alto, CA -- Police arrested a woman for attempting to rob a pedestrian of her cell phone at knifepoint this afternoon in downtown Palo Alto.  There were no injuries.

On Tuesday, July 7, 2015, at about 2:41 p.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a call from a victim who reported she had been robbed about an hour earlier in downtown.

The investigation revealed that the victim, a woman in her thirties, had been walking eastbound on the north sidewalk of University Avenue approaching the intersection of Waverley Street.  A suspect approached her while holding a pocketknife with the blade exposed and demanded that the victim hand over her cell phone, which the victim had in her hand.  The victim refused, and told a male passerby that the suspect was trying to rob her.  The passerby, who remains unknown and unidentified, interceded and stepped between the victim and suspect.  The passerby told the victim to walk away, as he remained to confront the suspect.  When the suspect tried to walk around the passerby to continue harassing the victim, the passerby pushed her away.  The suspect then walked away northbound on Waverley Street from University Avenue.

The victim went to a nearby coffee shop after the robbery attempt, where she e-mailed the Stanford Department of Public Safety about what had happened to her.  They directed her to call our Department, which she then did (thus the delayed report).  The victim provided a suspect description to police, who then canvassed the area for video surveillance footage from nearby businesses.  Officers located video footage of the crime itself, and were able to identify a possible suspect.  That video footage is not available for public release.

At about 6:30 p.m., the suspect voluntarily came to the police station to cooperate with an unrelated, entirely separate investigation.  While at the station for that investigation (details of which are not available for public release at this point), officers placed the suspect under arrest for attempted robbery.

Police booked 20-year-old Yarissa Guadalupe Ramirez of Redwood City into the Santa Clara County Main Jail for one felony count of attempted armed robbery.  Her booking photo is attached to this release.

Anyone with information about this incident, or knowledge of the identity of the male passerby, is asked to call our 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413.  Anonymous tips can be e-mailed 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