Palo Alto Police Online Services and Citizen Self Reporting

DO NOT USE THIS PAGE TO REPORT "IN PROGRESS" OR JUST OCCURRED CRIMES, ACCIDENTS or EMERGENCIES.  INSTEAD CALL 9-1-1. 

The Palo Alto Police Department accepts the following reports online.  From this page you may access certain forms to download such as:

  • Abandoned Vehicle
  • Confidential Tip  
  • Employee Commendation
  • Employee Complaint
  • Shoreline Amphitheatre Noise Complaint (Intended for use by Palo Alto Residents or Businesses ONLY. The Amphitheatre is in the City of Mountain View; if you are not a Palo Alto resident and you have a complaint about noise from the Amphitheatre you should contact the Mountain View Police Department at 650-903-6344).
  • Traffic Complaint
  • Parking Complaint (Abandoned Vehicle Complaint)
  • Traffic Collision
  • Certain Crime and Incident Reports (See below)

Please read the instructions and click on the provided links below.

UPDATE: During the COVID-19 Shelter in Place, please submit electronically, or via US Mail.


Reporting Crimes and Incidents Online

In an effort to provide citizens with an opportunity to file a report for the following crimes or incidents, we have created a Citizen’s Crime Report Form which can be downloaded below or obtained at the Police Department Records Unit front desk. You will need to complete the form with all pertinent information and submit the form via e-mail, US Mail or in person to the Police Department Records Unit during normal business hours, Monday – Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. After review and processing, you will receive a case number for your records. Please note, unless the crime you are reporting is part of a crime trend in your area, you will probably not be contacted by an officer or investigator. Additionally, knowingly submitting a false crime report is a misdemeanor under California Penal Code Section 148.5 and is punishable by 6 months, $1,000 fine, or both. Please download the Citizen’s Crime Report Form in the link below, to report the following Crimes or Incidents if they occurred in the City of Palo Alto and you have no suspect information:

  • Annoying/Harassing Phone Calls
  • Lost Property
  • Misdemeanor Vandalism – Malicious mischief or damage done to your property. Not Graffiti - To report Graffiti Vandalism, call the Police Department's non-emergency number (650-329-2413) and request an officer to make a report.
  • Petty Theft - The unlawful taking of the personal property of another valued at $950 or less.
  • Grand Theft - The unlawful taking of the personal property of another valued at more than $950. If the value of the total property taken is greater than $5,000 dollars, do not use this form.  Call the Palo Alto Police Communications Center at 650-329-2413 to report this crime.

Instructions for Citizen’s Crime Report Form

Do not report in progress crimes or Emergencies via this form.  Call 9-1-1.  Review the previous guidelines above. Form must be submitted in Person.

Fill out all pertinent information listed on the report form.  Please provide as much descriptive information as possible such as make, model and serial numbers.  Please include a dollar amount for all thefts and for vandalized damaged property.

If you are reporting a theft of a Bike, please include the speed, and type of bike, such as Boys/Girls. 

If you have more property items then the form allows, you may download the Citizen’s Property Loss Report Form. Please forward the form(s) and a copy of your government ID to the Police Department either electronically, or via US Mail: 

Palo Alto Police Department Records Unit
275 Forest Avenue
Palo Alto, CA 94301
650-329-2406
Hours: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

If you do not have access to a computer, please call the Palo Alto Police Department Records Unit, at the phone number above, to obtain the form and further information during normal business hours Monday - Friday.

DOWNLOAD: Citizen's Crime Report Form


Instructions for Driver's Report of Traffic Incident

If you have been involved in a non-injury traffic collision where you exchanged names; were the victim of a private property accident with no injury, or do not have any suspect information, you may download the Driver's Report of Traffic Accident Form. Fill out all the pertinent information and forward the completed form along with a copy of your government issued ID electronically or via US Mail to the Palo Alto Police Department Records Unit. The collision must have happened within the City of Palo Alto. Please do not use this form if the collision occurred on a freeway (or off- or on-ramp to a freeway) like Highway 101 or Interstate 280, as they are in the jurisdiction of the California Highway Patrol, not the Palo Alto Police Department. After review and processing, you will be given a report case number for your records.

If you do not have access to a computer, please call the Palo Alto Police Department Records Unit to obtain the form and further information during normal business hours Monday - Friday

DOWNLOAD: Driver's Report of Traffic Collision Form


Citation Sign-Offs

UPDATE: During the COVID-19 Shelter in Place, Citation Sign-Off Services have been suspended

The Palo Alto Police Department provides Cite Sign-Offs to residents of Palo Alto, or to citizens that have received a citation from the Palo Alto Police Department. This service is performed Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Abandoned Vehicles

Residents may call 650-329-2258, 24 hours a day to report vehicles abandoned or stored on public roadways.  Vehicles are checked within three business days.

DOWNLOAD: Abandoned Vehicle Complaint


Make a Confidential Crime Tip

Online Crime Tip Reporting allows citizens to anonymously provide information to the Police Department about suspicious activity and criminal actions within their neighborhoods.  The public can also send an anonymous text or e-mail message to paloalto@tipnow.org to report what they are seeing, or to provide information about a case the police may be investigating.

DOWNLOAD: Confidential Tip Form


Other Report Forms