News


'Victims' fight off robbers in two incidents

Palo Alto police warn residents to take extra precautions due to a string of recent robberies

Palo Alto police are on high alert after two people were nearly robbed in separate incidents Tuesday night. In both incidents, the robbery target fought off the armed would-be robbers.

The first attempted robbery took place around 9:30 p.m. in the 700 block of Talisman Court, where a man in his 30s was returning home, police said.

The victim drove his car into his garage, but as he got out of the car, he was approached by a man who walked into the garage, brandished a handgun, and demanded money, police said. There was a brief scuffle between the suspect and the victim, and the suspect ran off empty-handed, police said. The victim was not injured in the incident.

The suspect in that robbery was described as a black man between 18 and 22 years old with a slim build. The victim said he was wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt, police said.

The second robbery attempt took place a little more than half an hour later at 10:03 p.m. in the 900 block of University Avenue, police said.

The second victim was also a man in his 30s, and he was walking east on the street when he was approached by three suspects, one of whom showed a gun and demanded money, police said.

A fight broke out between the victim and the suspects, eventually causing the suspects to flee south on Seneca Street towards Hamilton Avenue, police said. The second victim did not lose any property in the attempted robbery, police said. He sustained minor facial injuries in the fight, but was treated by Palo Alto Fire Department paramedics at the scene, police said.

The first suspect in the later robbery is described as a man in his 20s who may be Asian, police said. The man was 5 feet 10 inches tall with a medium build, and he was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and gray sweatpants, police said. That suspect was the one who was brandishing the firearm and is believed to still be armed, police said.

The second of the three suspects is described as a Hispanic man in his 20s who is also 5 feet 10 inches tall but with a larger build, police said. He was last seen wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt, police said.

Police could not provide a clear description of the third suspect, who is described only as having a slim build, police said.

The two robberies may or may not be connected to each other and to several other robberies in that area of Palo Alto in recent weeks, police said. Police are using the near robberies as red flags to remind residents to be as aware as possible of their surroundings, particularly after dark, police said. People should also try to stay in well-lit, populated areas and avoid walking alone, police said.

If someone should have a run-in with a would-be robber, police advise, "it is generally safer to comply with an armed robber's demands" because "it is not worth it to be harmed over some property which can be replaced," they said.

Anyone with information about the two attempted robberies on Tuesday is encouraged to call the Palo Alto Police Department at 650-329-2413 or make anonymous tips at 650-383-8984.

— Bay City News Service

Comments

Posted by Sarah, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 18, 2010 at 9:01 am

Glad nobody got major injuries. Hope police will catch the suspects soon. Watch out everybody.


Posted by news?, a resident of Community Center
on Nov 18, 2010 at 9:46 am

Armed robberies happen on Tuesday and don't get reported until Thursday? Is that how news works in this town?


Posted by Guns?, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 18, 2010 at 9:51 am

Suspects in both incidents had guns, any gun control around here?


Posted by me, a resident of another community
on Nov 18, 2010 at 10:55 am

Most criminals these days are wearing hooded sweatshirts. If you see anyone wearing hooded sweatshirt aproaching be extra carefull.


Posted by ha ha, a resident of Crescent Park
on Nov 18, 2010 at 11:04 am

unless it is Facebook's Marc Zuckerberg!


Posted by worried resident, a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 18, 2010 at 11:21 am

Where is the Police patrol? What is PAPD doing about the sudden dip in security situation in Palo Alto? All I hear from PAPD is the recommendation to "comply with the robber's demands"!


Posted by Winklevoss, a resident of another community
on Nov 18, 2010 at 11:41 am

Be especially careful if it is Zuckerberg -- he won't touch your wallet or car, but will steal your IP and PII!


Posted by JT, a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 18, 2010 at 12:52 pm

Why the quote marks around the word "victims" in the headline? Is the Weekly trying to suggest something? I notice the writer used the word "target" to describe the victims, and then lapsed into "victim" (without quotes) later.


Posted by JT, a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 18, 2010 at 12:55 pm

Also wondering what good it does to say the suspects are "black man between 18 and 22 years old with a slim build"? That would apply to a lot of people. I guess the Weekly and PAPD are telling us to be suspicious of all young African American men who aren't heavyset. Sounds like Lynn Johnson is back on the job.


Posted by qq, a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 18, 2010 at 1:48 pm

When will Santa Clara County and Chief Burns change their stance on CCW issuance? If you can get a CCW permit in our state's capital, why not here?

Web Link

qq


Posted by Safety, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 18, 2010 at 1:56 pm

Goodness!
When trouble has set in, and police need to know who they are looking for, they DO need assistance with descriptions for goodness sakes! Size (tall-short-fat-thin),estimate of height via largeror smaller than you; male or female if you really can tell, the color of hair, what wearing, colorings of clothes, type of shoes, etc. etc. so the police can try to track the right person.


Posted by Butch, a resident of Evergreen Park
on Nov 18, 2010 at 2:27 pm

Now that it gets darker much earlier, I'm sure that emboldens criminals to approach people with less chance of being seen by witnesses, in the early evening.

Anyone who choses to fight with a guy with a handgun is foolish. To fight with three guys with one gun is downright crazy.

However, I was once riding a public bus in San Fran and the bus was nearly empty. A guy got my attention and made like he was holding a gun under his jacket and wanted my $$. I said, show me the gun and you get the money. He got off the bus.


Posted by John, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 18, 2010 at 2:31 pm

"The suspect in that robbery was described as a black man between 18 and 22 years old with a slim build. The victim said he was wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt, police said."

Make sure you circle the block twice, to make sure you don't see a fat white woman in a tank-top. That may not make you safer, but you won't be accused of being a racist in Palo Alto.


Posted by evangelist, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 18, 2010 at 2:43 pm

What good is gun control? Don't you think people who are willing to rob you would be willing to illegally procure a firearm as well?

This is an argument for self-defense as a "good cause"...


Posted by Martha, a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 18, 2010 at 3:28 pm

I wish the Weekly would eliminate its Comments sections. Few of the comments above add anything to anyone's understanding of these incidents. Many are bigoted and ill-informed. And yes, I know, I'm free to ignore them. I usually do. But every time I take a look at the Comments section for any story, I see evidence of people with too much time on their hands who apparently have no one to whom they can make these inane comments in person. The problem with letting people put untruths and half-truths in writing is that once in print or spoken aloud, rumors get passed along as truths (to wit: the nonsense about Obama's trip to Asia costing $XXX million a day).


Posted by John, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 18, 2010 at 4:15 pm

"I wish the Weekly would eliminate its Comments sections."

Martha, I can feel your pain. You do not have the protection of the European socailist establishment to cover up any opposition to your own views. On the other hand, you live in the USA, not Europe.

Get used to it, Martha. It's called individual freedom.


Posted by anonymous, a resident of another community
on Nov 18, 2010 at 4:16 pm

"$XXX million a day"

and "x" equals? Let's start a rumor!


Posted by ChrisC, a resident of College Terrace
on Nov 18, 2010 at 7:01 pm

ChrisC is a registered user.

I agree with Martha: I wish the Weekly would eliminate its Comments sections.

I often start looking at them hoping to see some interesting points or insight and 90% of the time, the discussion is quickly reduced to name calling or, recently, about us all being able to carry guns and shoot people. Weekly folks: eliminate the option to comment on your news stories. Isn't there someplace else on Palo Alto Online for forums and open discussion?


Posted by rick, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 19, 2010 at 9:20 am

rick is a registered user.

Keep the comments coming! I enjoy scanning through the entries to get a flavor of local attitudes. Most of these people probably vote (there's a disconcerting thought). Yes there are plenty of inanities which reflect poorly on their pseudonymed authors. And patently objectionable content does get deleted.

Many news stories appear like an early draft, and feedback often leads to revision or clarification. In this story I'm curious about after a scuffle "the suspect ran off empty-handed". I assume he still had his handgun. Are there any realistic ideas how we can make this town a less hospitable place for armed robbers without giving up civil liberties? Maybe if the penalties were more publicized. I have no idea what time if any is served by a 16 year old gunman on a first conviction. Seems like shoplifting would be a much less risky career for these people.


Posted by Greer Stone, a resident of Midtown
on Nov 19, 2010 at 3:26 pm

Greer Stone is a registered user.

The solution is simple, we need to ensure that enough of our city budget goes to our police department and ensure that our city remains to be one of the safest cities in the country. We have to hire more police officers and have more on patrol around the city, especially at night!


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