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


PRESS RELEASE 0213201302
Subject :

Suspect Robs Woman Walking Near Downtown
Contact : Brian Philip, Detective Sergeant, Police    650-329-2413
Palo Alto, CA -- A woman sustained minor injuries tonight after she was the victim of a strong-arm robbery as she walked by herself near downtown.  The suspect is at large.

On Wednesday, February 13, 2013, at about 7:40 p.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a 9-1-1 call from a resident in the 300 block of Bryant Street who reported that a woman had just been robbed in front of their house.  The reporting party said the suspect had fled in a vehicle.  Officers responded to the area, but were unable to locate the suspect or the vehicle.

The investigation revealed that the victim, a woman in her fifties, had been walking northbound in the 300 block of Bryant Street.  The suspect approached from in front of her, threw her forcibly to the ground without any warning, and demanded that she give him her purse.  The victim started to scream.  The suspect tugged at her purse until he was able to pull it away from her grasp.  The suspect ran away northbound on Bryant Street, and the victim watched as he got into the passenger seat of a waiting black vehicle parked further up the block.  The victim last saw the vehicle driving away northbound on Bryant Street.  There are no additional details on the vehicle.  The victim said the suspect was not armed.  The suspect did not punch or strike the victim during the encounter.

The victim sustained a bloody nose and bruising to her arm as a result of being thrown to the ground.   Personnel from the Palo Alto Fire Department assisted her at the scene, and she declined further medical treatment.

The victim described the suspect as a black male adult in his twenties.  She said he was "tall" and “thin.”  The suspect was wearing all dark clothing, and possibly a thin jacket.  It is possible the victim may be able to work with a police sketch artist to produce a sketch; if that occurs, the sketch will be released separately as soon as it is available. 

Detectives are actively investigating this incident, including any possible connection to the armed robbery of a man and woman walking in the 300 block of Ramona Street on the evening of January 22, 2013 and the armed robbery of a man in a carport in the 1000 block of Tanland Drive on the morning of February 9, 2013.  The suspect in those cases has a similar description to the suspect from tonight's robbery.

Police recommend that people remain aware of their surroundings when out for walks, and report suspicious behavior immediately to 9-1-1.  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.