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


Subject :

Robber Snatches Purse from Woman at Stanford Shopping Center
Contact : James Reifschneider, Lieutenant, Police Department    650-329-2413
Palo Alto, CA – A man ripped a purse off of a woman's shoulder as she walked to her parked car at the Stanford Shopping Center this evening.  The suspect fled as a passenger in a waiting vehicle and remains at large.  The victim was not physically injured.

On Saturday, January 7, 2017, at about 6:21 p.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a call from a woman reporting she had just been robbed at the Stanford Shopping Center at 180 El Camino Real.  Officers responded immediately, but the suspect had fled the area in a vehicle prior to police arrival.

The investigation revealed that the victim, a woman in her forties, was walking alone to her car, which was parked on the first floor of the parking garage on the south side of the shopping center.  A vehicle pulled up next to her, and a man got out of the front passenger seat.  The man grabbed the victim’s purse off of her shoulder.  She held onto the strap and tried to pull it back, but he was able to rip the purse away from her.  He returned to the vehicle, which then left southbound through the parking garage towards Quarry Road.  The victim was not physically injured.  The purse contained her wallet, but not her cell phone.

The victim described the suspect as a Hispanic male in his twenties or thirties.  He was wearing a dark-colored hooded sweatshirt with the hood pulled tight around his face.  He was also wearing dark-colored pants.  He was not armed with a weapon.  The victim described the suspect vehicle as a black small coupe or sedan, but an independent witness described it as a black sports utility vehicle.  The victim reported that there were three other people in the vehicle, all similarly aged and also Hispanic.  Two were men, and there was a woman in the back seat.  At this point, it is not anticipated that a suspect sketch will be able to be produced; if that changes, we will release the sketch as soon as it becomes available.

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