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


Subject :

Police Arrest Robbery Suspect Seconds After Crime Occurs
Contact : Brian Philip, Detective Sergeant, Police Department    650-329-2413
Palo Alto, CA -- Police were in the right place at the right time Saturday night, arresting a 17-year-old female for strong-arm robbery near downtown Palo Alto just seconds after she had punched a pedestrian, stolen her purse, and tried to run away.

On Saturday, October 19, 2013, at about 9:53 p.m., a patrol officer was driving in the 700 block of Waverley Street when he saw one woman chasing another down the street yelling, "She stole my purse!"  The officer stopped the suspect without incident one block away, detained her, and recovered the victim's purse with all of its contents still intact.

The investigation revealed that the victim, a woman in her forties, had been walking southbound on the west sidewalk of the 700 block of Waverley Street.  The suspect ran up to the victim from behind, punched the victim in the back of the head, and then forcibly pushed her to the ground.  The suspect then pulled the victim’s purse from her shoulder and started running northbound on Waverley Street.  The victim gave chase on foot but immediately saw the marked police car and told the officer what had happened.

The victim sustained minor scratches to her face and knee.  Personnel from the Palo Alto Fire Department treated and released her at the scene.

Police took the suspect, a 17-year-old female from East Palo Alto, to the Santa Clara County Juvenile Hall.  The Palo Alto Police Department does not release booking photographs of juveniles, nor do we identify them by name.  No additional information on the suspect is available for release.

Detectives do not believe this suspect is connected to any other robberies in Palo Alto, including the strong-arm robbery that occurred on September 28 in the 500 block of Middlefield Road.  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.