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


Subject :

Police Arrest Two Suspects for Saturday Night Carjacking
Contact : Marco Estrada, Officer, Police    650-329-2413
Amador Valentin Rivera
Palo Alto, CA -- Police arrested two suspects who carjacked a woman using a BB gun on Saturday night after an officer spotted the stolen vehicle leaving the scene of the crime.

On Saturday, January 5, 2013, at about 9:40 p.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a 9-1-1 call from a victim in the 100 block of California Avenue reporting that she had just been carjacked at gunpoint by an unknown male suspect.  She provided a description of the suspect and her vehicle (a 1999 Honda Accord), and said that she had seen him stop briefly in the 200 block of California Avenue to pick up another person before turning northbound on Birch Street.

Officers arrived on scene about 30 seconds after being dispatched.  An officer saw the vehicle, which was now occupied by three people, turning onto northbound El Camino Real from College Avenue.  Officers conducted a stop in the 400 block of Oxford Avenue.  Officers safely took the three occupants of the vehicle into custody and recovered a realistic-looking BB gun from the passenger compartment.  The victim's car was returned to her.  The car was not damaged.

The investigation revealed that the driver of the vehicle, 18-year-old Amador Valentin Rivera of East Palo Alto, had approached the victim as she sat in her parked vehicle near the intersection of California Avenue and Park Boulevard.  He knocked on her window, pointed the gun at her, and demanded that she give him her car.  The victim, a woman in her thirties, complied and stepped out of the car.  The suspect then drove away while the victim called 9-1-1 from her cell phone.  The victim was not injured.

Detectives were able to develop information indicating that one of the other two occupants of the victim’s vehicle, a 16-year-old juvenile male from Menlo Park, had assisted Rivera in the commission of the carjacking.  Police believe the juvenile was present during the carjacking, but went unseen by the victim.  The third occupant was interviewed and released without charges after it was determined he had no role in the crime.

Police arrested both Rivera and the juvenile for carjacking, a felony.  Officers booked Rivera into the Santa Clara County Main Jail, and took the juvenile to the Santa Clara County Juvenile Hall.  A booking photo of Rivera is attached to this press release.  The Palo Alto Police Department does not release booking photographs of juveniles, nor do we identify them by name.

Police ask that anyone who may have information about this crime 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.