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


Subject :

Police Release Sketch; Need Help Identifying Robbery Suspect
Contact : Janine De la Vega, Public Affairs Manager    6503292413

Palo Alto, CA Police are seeking the public’s assistance with identifying a man who robbed a female pedestrian on University Avenue last month.

On December 11, 2019 at around 8:55 p.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a report of a strong-arm robbery that just occurred in the 100 block of University Avenue. The preliminary investigation revealed the victim, an adult female in her twenties, was walking westbound while looking down at her phone when a male suspect riding a bicycle approached her from behind and grabbed her purse. The victim held on and was dragged several feet. She let go of her purse, but chased the suspect while screaming for help. The suspect escaped and fled north on High Street on his bicycle. To view the original press release click on this link.

The female victim in this case met with a police artist January 3, resulting in a sketch of the suspect. The victim gave an updated description of the suspect. He is in his mid-forties with a thin build. He is approximately 6’1 weighing 170 pounds with short curly black hair. The suspect wore a charcoal gray jacket and black pants. The model of the bicycle he was riding is unknown.

Anyone who recognizes the man in the sketch or has 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 voicemail to 650-383-8984. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through our free mobile app, downloadable at or