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


Subject :

Robbers Pepper Spray Woman in Downtown Alley, Take Jewelry
Contact : Zach Perron, Lieutenant, Police Department    650-329-2413
Palo Alto, CA – Police are searching for two men who pepper sprayed a woman in a downtown Palo Alto alley last night before robbing her of jewelry.

On Monday, October 31, 2016, at about 7:16 p.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a call of an armed robbery that had occurred about ten minutes earlier in the 300 block of Lane 20 East, an alley that runs just north of, and parallel to, the 300 block of University Avenue between Waverley Street and Florence Street.  Officers responded to the area immediately, but did not locate the suspects.

The investigation revealed that the victim, a woman in her forties, had been walking westbound through Lane 20 East when she noticed the two suspects walking towards her.  One of the suspects sprayed her in the face with pepper spray, causing her vision to become temporarily blurry.  One of the two suspects ripped her necklace from around her neck, and a pair of spiral hoop earrings from her ears.  Both suspects then ran away in an unknown direction.  The victim stayed in the alley for a few minutes waiting for her vision to clear before she walked to a nearby store and called 9-1-1.  The victim complained of burning pain to her face, eyes, and neck area, but otherwise was not physically injured.

The victim described the two suspects as Hispanic male adults in their early twenties, both with thin builds and between 5 feet 6 inches and 5 feet 8 inches tall.  They were both wearing black pants and black hooded sweatshirts with the hoods pulled over their heads.  One of the suspects was wearing a black baseball cap.  No sketch of the suspects is available or anticipated.

Detectives are investigating.  There have been no similar street robberies in Palo Alto.

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