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


Subject :

Strong-Arm Robbery Occurs Near Downtown Palo Alto
Contact : Marianna Villaescusa, Agent, Police Department    650-329-2413
Palo Alto, CA -- A woman walking near downtown Palo Alto was the victim of a strong-arm robbery on Saturday afternoon.  She sustained minor injuries.  The suspects are at large.

On Saturday, September 28, 2013, at about 3:49 p.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a 9-1-1 call from the victim of a strong-arm robbery that had just occurred in the 500 block of Middlefield Road.  Officers responded to the area immediately, but were not able to locate the suspects.

The victim, a woman in her twenties, told police that she had been walking southbound on the west sidewalk of the 500 block of Middlefield Road.  A male suspect approached her from behind, grabbed her hair, and pulled her to the ground.  A female suspect grabbed the victim's purse and tried to pull it away from her.  The victim pulled back and was able to retrieve her cell phone and some keys from the purse before the female suspect wrestled it away from her.  The purse contained miscellaneous items of personal property, a wallet, and cash.  Both suspects then fled on foot eastbound on Hamilton Avenue from Middlefield Road.  No suspect vehicles were seen or heard.

The victim immediately used her cell phone to call 9-1-1 to report what happened.  The victim told police she had seen the two suspects walking on the sidewalk in the 500 block of University Avenue a short time before the robbery.  The victim sustained a minor abrasion to one of her shoulders that did not require medical treatment at the scene.

The victim described first suspect as a black male wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, dark pants, and athletic shoes.  The victim described the other suspect as a black female wearing a brown hooded sweatshirt, dark pants, and athletic shoes.  Both suspects were of average height and build.  It is unknown at this time if suspect sketches will be obtained.

Detectives are investigating this incident.  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.