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


Subject :

Two Juveniles Arrested for Strong-Arm Robbery in Parking Garage
Contact : Ryan Brennan, Agent, Police Department    650-329-2413
Palo Alto, CA – Police arrested two juveniles for strong-arm robbery Monday night after they stole a purse from a woman in a downtown parking garage and were pursued on foot by several witnesses.  No one was injured, and police recovered all of the stolen property.

On Monday, September 19, 2016 at about 9:30 p.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a call reporting a strong-arm robbery that had just occurred on Level A of City Parking Garage "S," located at 445 Bryant Street.  Officers responded immediately and contacted the victim, a woman in her fifties.  She said she and her husband had been walking to her car when an unknown suspect ran up behind her, ripped her purse out of her hand, and sprinted away with it.  Her husband gave chase, but eventually lost sight of the suspect and returned to his wife.  The victim was not injured.

While officers were speaking with the victim, we received another call that two other witnesses (both men in their thirties and forties) were chasing the suspect on foot near Hamilton Avenue and Middlefield Road while a third witness (a man in his twenties) followed in his vehicle.  Officers arrived in the area and took the suspect into custody without incident.  The witnesses reported there was a second male suspect who had also fled; the witness in the car, as he was leaving the scene, actually spotted that second suspect at Middlefield Road and Lytton Avenue.  That witness detained the second suspect without incident and called police, who arrived a short time later to take him into custody.

The investigation revealed that the first suspect taken into custody was the one who had stolen the purse, while the second suspect had acted as a lookout.  Officers were able to use software on the victim's stolen smartphone to trace the phone to a residence in the 800 block of Bell Street in East Palo Alto.  Upon contact there, a man in his fifties turned the phone over to officers and said he had found the phone on the ground in a parking lot of a business in the 300 block of Lytton Avenue.  He had not yet had a chance to figure out how to return it to its rightful owner.  The officers returned to that parking lot and recovered the victim’s purse and stolen tablet computer in the bushes.  It appears that while fleeing on foot, the suspects had discarded the stolen property in the parking lot.

Both suspects are 16-year-old residents of East Palo Alto.  Police arrested them for robbery and conspiracy to commit a crime (both felonies) and transported them to the Santa Clara County Juvenile Hall.

In accordance with our standard release of information procedures, no additional information on the suspects is available since they are under the age of 18.  We do not release booking photographs of juveniles in such situations.

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