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


Subject :

Strong-Arm Robbery Occurs in Downtown Palo Alto
Contact : Brian Philip, Detective Sergeant, Police    650-329-2413
Palo Alto, CA -- A woman walking in downtown Palo Alto was the victim of a strong-arm robbery late on Monday night.  She was not hurt and the suspect is at large.

On Tuesday, May 14, 2013, at about 11:17 a.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a call of a robbery that had occurred the night before.  The investigation revealed that the victim, a woman in her twenties who is an employee of a downtown business, had been walking westbound on the north sidewalk of the 200 block of Hamilton Avenue at about 10:45 p.m. on Monday, May 13, 2013.

As she crossed the alleyway named Lane 12 West (which is located mid-block between Ramona Street and Emerson Street), a man grabbed her ponytail and pulled her backwards into the alley.  As he held her hair, he demanded money.  She gave him money out of her purse, at which point he released her hair and ran away northbound through the alley.  The victim filed the report with police the following morning.

The victim never saw the suspect, and could only describe him as a male who was taller than 5 feet 5 inches tall.  She said the suspect had a deep, raspy voice with no accent.

Detectives are investigating this incident.  At this time, it is unknown if this robbery is connected to any of the other downtown street robberies that occurred earlier in 2013.  The last downtown street robbery occurred on March 3, 2013.

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.