Palo Alto, CA – Police arrested three juveniles following a strong-arm robbery at Stanford Shopping Center, after the suspects used a stolen car to lead police on a vehicle pursuit. The victim sustained moderate injuries and is being treated at a local hospital.
On Monday, December 21, 2020, at about 8:20 p.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a call of a strong-arm robbery that had just occurred in a parking garage at the Stanford Shopping Center at 180 El Camino Real. Officers responded immediately and located the victim, a woman in her sixties, suffering from moderate injuries to her head and one knee. The victim reported that as she got out of her car to go shopping, two vehicles drove up to her and three suspects got out to approach her. They attempted to pull her purse off her shoulder. As she attempted to hold onto it, one of the suspects punched her repeatedly in the back of the head. She fell to the ground, at which point that same suspect stomped on one of her knees. She let go of her purse and the suspects fled. She provided a description of the suspects and one of the vehicles to police. Paramedics from the Palo Alto Fire Department transported the victim to a local hospital.
A short time later, an officer located the described vehicle (a white 2016 Mazda Mazda6 four-door) occupied by three suspects being driven eastbound on Hamilton Avenue in downtown Palo Alto. The officer attempted to conduct a vehicle stop, but the suspect vehicle failed to yield and accelerated at a high rate of speed. The officer lost sight of the sedan, but another officer spotted it again a short time later driving eastbound on Oregon Expressway approaching Highway 101. That officer also attempted to stop the vehicle, but again it failed to yield and accelerated away at a high rate of speed onto northbound Highway 101. Officers pursued the vehicle until it eventually yielded on O’Brien Drive near Kavanaugh Drive in Menlo Park. Officers took all three suspects into custody without further incident at about 8:35 p.m.
Officers later determined the vehicle the suspects had been driving had been reported stolen out of Oakland on Saturday, December 19. Police eventually returned the vehicle to its owner.
At about 9:44 p.m., a resident in the 800 block of Lincoln Avenue reported finding an assortment of personal property that had been dumped in front of their house. The items included credit cards in the victim’s name that had been inside the stolen purse.
Police transported the three male suspects to the Santa Clara County Juvenile Hall. The driver of the suspect vehicle and one of the passengers are both 12-year-old residents of Oakland who initially lied to police about their identities. The other passenger was a 14-year-old resident of Oakland. Police arrested all three suspects for robbery, felony battery, and conspiracy to commit a crime; additionally, the two 12-year-olds were both arrested for providing false information to police, and the driver was also arrested for evading police and vehicle theft. 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.
Police are continuing to investigate to see if these suspects may be linked to other crimes in other cities. There have been no other robberies recently in Palo Alto committed by juvenile suspects. Police are also continuing to investigate the presence of the second vehicle that the victim, as well as a witness, mentioned. That vehicle is described as a dark four-door sedan, and was traveling with the white Mazda6 at the time of the robbery.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 bit.ly/PAPD-AppStore or bit.ly/PAPD-GooglePlay.