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


Subject :

Possible Attempted Robbery Occurs Near Stanford Hospital
Contact : Kara Apple, Sergeant, Police    650-329-2413
Palo Alto, CA -- A man approached a woman walking alone to her car near the Stanford Hospital and told her that he was trying to decide whether to rob her.  After a passing jogger may have distracted him, the victim walked away.  No robbery occurred and the victim was unharmed.

On Thursday, December 13, 2012, at about 8:20 p.m., the victim was walking in the 300 block of Pasteur Drive to get to her parked car.  A man blocked the victim's path by standing in front of her and trying to engage her in conversation.  He began asking the victim, a female in her twenties, questions such as how long she had worked in the area, how long she had walked in the dark alone, and whether she was carrying pepper spray.  When the victim asked him why he wanted to know, he replied that he was trying to decide whether he should take her bag.  At that moment, a jogger ran by and apparently distracted the suspect.  The victim immediately walked around him and hurried off to her car.  The suspect did not follow her.  She notified police the following day.

The victim described the suspect as a black male in his forties, about 5 feet 9 inches tall.  He had a thin build and was clean-shaven.  He was wearing a bright blue windbreaker, black pants, and a black beanie.  The victim did not see any weapons.

Police do not believe this incident is related to the two downtown robbery attempts that occurred during the early morning hours of December 2.

We recommend that people remain aware of their surroundings when out for walks, and report suspicious behavior immediately to 9-1-1.  We ask that anyone who may have information about this incident contact 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.