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


Subject :

Armed Robbery Attempted in Downtown Palo Alto
Contact : Brian Philip, Detective Sergeant, Police    650-329-2413
Palo Alto, CA -- Two men, one of whom was armed with a handgun, attempted to rob three women walking together in downtown Palo Alto last night.  The women fled on foot and no property was taken.

On Wednesday, May 15, 2013, at about 9:57 p.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a call of an attempted robbery that had just occurred in the 700 block of Emerson Street.  Officers arrived on scene immediately, but were not able to locate any suspects.

The investigation revealed that the victims (one in her thirties, one in her forties, and one in her fifties) were walking together northbound on the west side of the 700 block of Emerson Street.  Two men stepped out from an alcove of a business.  One of them pointed a gun at the women and demanded their property.  The victims immediately separated and ran in different directions, each going to a nearby open business and asking for help to call police.  The suspects did not pursue them, and instead were last seen running together southbound on Emerson Street towards Homer Avenue.

The victims described the first suspect as a Hispanic male in his twenties, between 5 feet 3 inches and 5 feet 6 inches tall.  He had a medium build, and was wearing dark clothing and a covering over his face.  He was armed with a small black handgun.  The victims could only describe the second suspect as a "tall" male with a blue bandanna covering his face.  No suspect sketches will be forthcoming.

Detectives are investigating this incident, including any possible connection to a strong-arm robbery that occurred two nights before in the 200 block of Hamilton Avenue.  Officers are increasing patrols in the downtown area.

Anyone with information about this attempted 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.