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


Subject :

Update on Robbery Trend
Contact : Lieutenant Sandra Brown, Palo Alto Police Department    650-704-2930
Palo Alto, CA - A violent robbery in a quiet area of downtown Palo Alto that occurred on September 20, 2010 began a series of unassociated robberies that appeared to have stopped since Palo Alto Police Department held a public meeting on January 19th, 2010 at the Cubberley Theater. 

Jose Plaza and Anal Patel were arrested for the September 20th robbery of a female near the intersection of Forest Avenue and Bryant Street. The suspects threatened the victim with a bat and fled with a phone and wallet.

A few days later another robbery occurred in the 700 block of Webster Street where a suspect snatched the victim's purse. There have been no arrests in that crime.

On October 6, 2010, a suspect using a gun, demanded cash from the cashier at the Embarcadero Shell station. There have been no arrests in that crime yet either. 

On October 10, 2010, Raymond Lewis approached a victim and used a gun to car jack her vehicle in the 200 block of University Avenue. Lewis was arrested later that evening in San Mateo.

On October 27, 2010, at 7:45 PM, a victim was robbed at gun point near his home in the 900 block of Bryant Street. The victim’s computer bag and wallet were stolen. There have been no arrests in that crime.

On the same day, at 11:22 PM, Villivuni Fono used a gun to rob a victim in the 500 block of Fulton Street. Fono was later arrested after being positively identified on January 5, 2011.

On November 5, 2010, a person was robbed at gun point in the 500 block of Forest Avenue. The suspects were later located in East Palo Alto. A male juvenile was arrested and transported to juvenile hall. Ana Umufuke, 24 years of age was also arrested. On January 5, 2011, Villivuni Fono was identified as also being involved in this robbery and was charged with this crime.

On November 13, 2010, an armed robbery occurred in the 3300 block of Park Boulevard which resulted in the theft of telephones, wallets and a vehicle carjacking.  Poasi Toliseli, 18 years-old was arrested on February 10, 2011 after being identified in that crime.

On November 14, 2010, a suspect used a firearm and attempted to rob the Colorado Avenue 7-11 convenience store. The suspect fled without taking anything and is still outstanding.

On November 16, 2010, at 9:25 PM, an unknown suspect attempted to commit an armed robbery of a person in his garage in the 700 block of Talisman Court. Nothing was taken and this suspect is till outstanding. 

On the same day, less than an hour later, in the 900 block of University Avenue, another armed robbery occurred and a wallet was taken. The suspect information did not match the earlier case and the suspect in this case is still out standing.

On December 6, 2010 a strong-arm robbery occurred in the 500 block of Cowper Street. A purse was stolen and the young male suspect fled the scene. This suspect is still outstanding.

On December 11, 2010, a strong-arm robbery occurred in the 900 block of El Cajon Way. The victim’s purse was stolen and her credit cards were used in Mountain View, Redwood City, Menlo Park and Milpitas. Dean Allen Holmes Jr. 23, was arrested on January 19, 2011 after stolen property was located in his home during a search being conducted as a condition of his parole. The property was purchased with the victim’s credit card.  After further investigation, it was later discovered that Shamika Westmoreland, 28 years-old of Sunnyvale and her father Rickey Westmoreland Sr. 58, were in possession of a Sony Play Station that had also been purchased with the El Cajon Victim’s credit card. Westmoreland Sr. had registered the game system using his personal email address. Both Westmoreland’s were charged with a felony; possession of stolen property.

Three other robberies, 400 block of Marion, 3900 block of Nelson and 2300 block of St. Francis, suspects used guns, stole personal property and had similar suspect descriptions. These suspects have not been identified and are still out standing.

On January 10, 2011, an armed robbery of a pizza delivery person occurred in the 4000 block of Ben Lomond. After some investigation and a photo line up, Dean Allen Holmes Jr. was identified as the suspect in this crime. Again, Holmes was charges with robbery.

Of the 17 robberies listed above, there were 12 suspects associated with them. Some of the suspects as listed were associated with multiple crimes. There were approximately 21 robberies during the spree. Those not listed above are still under active investigation and will not be discussed.