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


Subject :

Late-Night Robbery Occurs in Downtown Parking Lot; Suspects at Large
Contact : Marco Estrada, Agent, Police Department    650-329-2413
Palo Alto, CA – A man was assaulted by two men and had his cell phone stolen during a late-night robbery in a downtown parking lot.  The victim sustained minor injuries and the suspects are at large.

On Saturday, March 19, 2016, at about 1:55 a.m., the victim, a man in his twenties, flagged down a patrol officer in the 200 block of University Avenue and reported he had been robbed about ten minutes earlier in City Parking Lot "N" at 539 Emerson Street.  Officers checked the area for the suspects but could not locate them.

The investigation revealed that the victim had been walking through the parking lot when he saw two men next to a parked silver Toyota Camry.  One of the men asked the victim, who was smoking a cigarette, if he could have a cigarette.  The victim agreed and approached him, intending to hand him a cigarette.  That suspect suddenly began to punch the victim in the head, and demanded his property.  The victim yelled out, at which point the suspect put his hands around the victim's neck in an apparent attempt to quiet him.  The second suspect then began pushing the suspect towards the Camry.  The victim told police he thinks the second suspect was trying to do this to prevent others from hearing his calls for help.  As they got close to the car, the victim saw a third man seated in the back seat, but that man did not participate in the assault.  The victim was able to free himself from the two suspects and ran to a nearby business for help, where he learned that the suspects had stolen his cell phone.  The victim received scratches and abrasions to his neck.  Paramedics from the Palo Alto Fire Department treated him and released at the scene.

The victim described the primary suspect as a Hispanic male in his twenties, about 5 feet 9 inches tall with a medium build and a full beard.  He was wearing a brown plaid beanie, a brown plaid jacket, and blue jeans.  The victim described the second suspect as a Hispanic male in his twenties, about 6 feet tall with a thin build and unshaven.  He was wearing brown clothing.  The victim described their vehicle as a newer-model silver Toyota Camry with California license plates.  The vehicle as gone by the time the victim notified police.  It is unknown at this time if the victim will be able to work with a police artist to produce a sketch of the suspects; if that occurs, we will release the sketch as soon as it is available.

Police interviewed a witness who observed the robbery as it occurred.  There is no surveillance video available of the suspects.

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 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