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


Subject :

Police Seek Purse-Snatching Robber
Contact : Zach Perron, Lieutenant, Police Department    650-329-2413
Palo Alto, CA – Police are searching for a man who ripped a woman's purse off of her shoulder in a parking lot of Stanford Shopping Center, then fled in a waiting vehicle.

On Monday, September 5, 2016, at about 2:34 p.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a call of a strong-arm robbery that had just occurred in the parking lot of Nordstrom at Stanford Shopping Center, located at 550 Sand Hill Road.  Officers responded to the area immediately, but could not find the suspects.

The investigation revealed that the victim, a woman in her sixties, had been standing near the trunk of her parked car on the east side of Nordstrom, near Arboretum Road.  The suspect approached her from her right side, and forcefully ripped her purse from her shoulder.  The suspect ran to a waiting vehicle, which was driven by another suspect.  The vehicle was last seen headed eastbound on Sand Hill Road.

The victim complained of pain to her shoulder and felt light-headed.  She was transported to a local hospital by paramedics from the Palo Alto Fire Department as a precaution.

The victim described the purse-snatching suspect as a male of unknown race or age, about 5 feet 7 inches tall.  He was wearing a hooded sweatshirt and pants.  The suspect vehicle was a red or maroon newer 4-door sedan, possibly a Toyota Camry.  The victim was not able to provide a description of the driver of the suspect vehicle.  No suspect sketch is available; should one be completed later, we will release it as soon as possible.

There have been no similar crimes reported recently in Palo Alto or at the Stanford Shopping Center.  Officers are increasing patrols in the area.

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