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


PRESS RELEASE 0303201302
Subject :

Woman Robbed in Stairwell of Civic Center Parking Garage
Contact : Brian Philip, Detective Sergeant, Police    650-329-2413
Palo Alto, CA -- A woman returning to her vehicle in the Civic Center parking garage was the victim of a strong-arm robbery overnight.  She was not hurt and the suspect is at large.

On Sunday, March 3, 2013, at about 12:28 a.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a report of a battery that had occurred about 10 minutes earlier in the Civic Center parking garage at 250 Hamilton Avenue.  Officers arrived quickly, but the suspect was gone.

The investigation revealed that the crime was a strong-arm robbery.  The victim, a woman in her twenties who is an employee of a downtown business, was walking down one of the stairwells in the parking garage to return to her car.  While she was in the stairwell, the suspect approached her and placed one of his hands on the back of her neck.  While he maintained a firm grasp on her neck, he used his other hand to remove cash from her rear pants pocket.  The suspect then fled on foot in an unknown direction.  The victim, who was uninjured, returned to her place of employment and notified police.

The victim described the suspect as a black male in his thirties, about 6 feet 2 inches tall and 200 pounds, with tattoos on the side of his neck.  He had black hair in dreadlocks that hung to his lower back, and he was wearing a black t-shirt and either a black or dark gray beanie.  The suspect was not armed.  It is possible that 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.

Based on the differences in description, detectives do not believe that this crime is connected to the other street robberies that have occurred downtown in recent weeks.  Officers are increasing patrols in the area in response to the robberies, and detectives are actively conducting follow-up investigation.

Anyone with information about this robbery can 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.