News

Girl, 14, bruised in California Avenue robbery

Teen robbed of cell phone outside Club Illusions

A 14-year-old girl was robbed of her cell phone and bruised after being knocked over Monday night, June 18, on California Avenue, Palo Alto police Agent Robert Parham said.

The incident occurred at about 11:30 p.m. in front of Club Illusions at 260 South California Ave. during a teen dance night, Parham said. The girl was standing outside the club with several other people when a young male brushed against her and allegedly removed her cell phone from the left front pocket of her shorts.

The girl immediately noticed the phone was missing and asked the boy if he took the phone. He denied the theft. He ran into her as he fled, bumping into her shoulder and knocking her backward. He continued to flee down California Avenue toward El Camino Real, Parham said.

No one was able to identify the suspected robber, and the club did not have video surveillance, Parham said. The victim initially said she was uninjured, but the next day she reported bruises on her chest and hip, he said.

Parham said the case is still under investigation. The robber is described as a black male, 16 to 18 years old with a thin build.

Anyone who witnessed the incident or has information can call the Palo Alto Police Department at 650-329-2413.

Comments

Posted by Wally, a resident of Greendell/Walnut Grove
on Jun 20, 2012 at 4:20 pm

Happens everyday in every city. Slow news day.


Posted by PA Resident, a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 20, 2012 at 5:16 pm

A 14-year-old was at a club at 11:30PM? Wow.


Posted by Enough!, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jun 21, 2012 at 10:36 am

MY 14 year old's were not allowed out at 11:30pm at a CLUB. I've seen pictures on my kids FB pages of what goes on in that club on those teen nights. Let's just say I wouldn't give it a PG rating.


Posted by TimH, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 21, 2012 at 10:41 am

The specifics of the crime, while important, are not the key. Whether the name is Club Illusions, The Edge, Keystone, etc....WHEN will Palo Alto give "clubs" the boot?? There is no reason for all forms of entertainment to be within city limits. 260 California Avenue has been a source of trouble since the 1970's. If the city council wants to truly become the progressive force it aspires to, then start here. Change civic ordinance to eliminate this type of enterprise. There is nothing wrong, or lost, to pushing clubs and the troubles that accompany them, out to other cities to deal with.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 21, 2012 at 10:48 am

> A 14-year-old was at a club at 11:30PM? Wow.

My first reaction too.


Posted by Lost Cause, a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Jun 21, 2012 at 10:58 am

Wow? Exactly! And... who's to say she didn't loose the phone. What an easy excuse... "Mom and Dad.. some kid robbed me. And.. oh yeah.. he was black with a thin build.."

What a load of crap!

Note to Police - Start profiling what few minorities we have in the city and school district, because non-minorities NEVER steal.

Note to Parents - She should be home! Really???


Posted by Raymond Lucas, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 21, 2012 at 10:59 am

Let's see...11:30 at night, 14 yrs old, in front of Club Illusions. Some crimes are VERY preventable. Parenting first and foremost.


Posted by Lost Cause, a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Jun 21, 2012 at 11:04 am

Sorry... this is just so ridiculous on so many levels. Teenagers do need an outlet, but 14 is too young to be out going out, and especially to be out that late. What will she be doing at 16 if she's already hanging out with 16 years olds and up at 14??

Patience... stop trying to grow up SO fast and parents, it's okay to say "No." And... I don't believe her story at all. There's more to his "story" and she knows it. Now innocent boys will be a profiling target, yet again. Just sad.

Keep her home!


Posted by Think even deeper.., a resident of Midtown
on Jun 21, 2012 at 11:46 am

This was a "TEEN DANCE" party. Where were the adult chaperones? Did parents use this event as a free baby sitting night?

I see nothing wrong with an end of the year party at Illusions. It is a very nice place. Classy. No alcohol was involved. This could have happened anywhere, even at the train station.

It is a PARENTS responsibility to know where their kids are, and 11:30PM is dandy, as long as there were chaperones. It is the ADULTS at that party that should be held accountable. If there were no chaperones, then that's the problem, in a nutshell.

What is it with people that find an establishment at fault, for the behavior of a few people that abuse what could be a nice event? Illusions is great, as is the restaurant that has great food.

The police just gave a description of the suspect. I find it helpful. It annoys me when a suspect is described as "male" in his 40s. That could describe me.


Posted by Paly momX2, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 21, 2012 at 12:37 pm

Ok this is rediculous. I have teenage boys and I have worked on Calif ave and I can tell you there are constant "club" events there and there are always issues not just with the teens I have seen numerous times of teenagers smoking weed fighting etc ... What is wrong with parents these days? are they really that naive/gullable that they believe their kids are being chaparoned and watched and what their kids tell them is the "truth" open your eyes parents pull your heads outta ur butts remember you were a teen too and think of the stuff you use to do and realize the kids nowdays are doing it at a younger age. When are parents going to get it ... Glad this girl wasnt hurt however sounds to me as though someone also need to learn about telling the truth


Posted by pearl, a resident of another community
on Jun 21, 2012 at 2:49 pm

'A 14-year-old was at a club at 11:30PM? Wow.' Ditto that comment. Way too young to be out on the streets at that time of night. Whatever are parents thinking? Or, are they?!? I guess not.


Posted by Evergreen Park Neighbor, a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jun 21, 2012 at 4:16 pm

You people sound like old farts. Don't any of you remember when you were teenagers? Have some understanding of what it was like to be a teenagers. Teenagers need to socialize and explore. It is natural. I lived in a big city and was out all hours of the night at 14. That was 39 years ago.

I fully support having a club near my home and I would encourage my kids to socialize there. Geez....I'd rather have an outlet for teenage socialization nearby than having kids get in troubles far away and in car accidents.


Posted by PA Resident, a resident of Crescent Park
on Jun 21, 2012 at 4:49 pm

Yes, I do remember being a teenager during the late 60s and early 70s. I do not remember going to clubs at age 14. Let me rephrase that: I did not go to clubs when I was a teenager -- period. Probably because I had a lot of other interesting things to do, and until I was a senior in high school, I got myself home by 10PM or so.

A neighbor of mine asked, years ago when our older kids were both around age 15, what my kid's curfew was. At the time, setting a curfew wasn't an issue, but this parent said that they were having a lot of trouble getting their teen home before 2 or 3AM, as a 15-year-old. I was astounded. The neighbor kid was going to the club that was located where Illusions is, 10 or 11 years ago. The kid was also failing classes and getting into all kinds of trouble. The parents were not being PARENTS and setting some limits.

My kid was pretty busy with school and athletics, and there was only one incident throughout high school where we disagreed over the time to return home. My kid is now in graduate school after taking a multi-year trip into the workforce following an undergraduate degree. The club kid wasn't able to finish a bachelor's degree and is still having problems with drugs.

That's only one data point, but I know of plenty of others. It's easy to draw a straight line between lack of parental involvement in setting limits and a kid's eventual ability to set and complete goals. And then go on to be a responsible grown-up.


Posted by Susan Shores, a resident of Ventura
on Jun 21, 2012 at 4:55 pm

I am shocked at the insensitivity and judgments of many comments!
A teen dance- acceptable today- as it was 50 years ago when I was a teen in Palo Alto!
The point is she was mugged for her phone and hurt.
Who is to blame are those that did this- not chaperones, parents or anyone else.


Posted by jerryl, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jun 21, 2012 at 5:06 pm

By going to a nightclub and hanging around outside it at 11:30PM
she was asking for trouble.
By letting her stay out that late the parents were asking for
trouble.
Both apparently got it. The girl got slightly hurt and was
lucky it wasn't worse. The parents will undoubtedly be hit
up to buy her a new cell phone (and probably will give in).

I tend to agree with the poster who made the comment about
nightclubs at that location. I would rather have them be
out of sight, out of mind (i.e. in a city too far away for
a 14 year old to reach conveniently.


Posted by An old fart, a resident of South of Midtown
on Jun 21, 2012 at 6:20 pm

I've been to Illusions. It's a very nice establishment for anyone - old farts, like me, adults and even teens. Last year, a prom or some other event was held at Illusions, for teens. Prom decorations, arches, etc., was set up all over, with balloons. It looked great.

Illusion's ownership was good to the Jewish Community, when the To Life Cultural Fairs were held on Calif. Ave. by hosting their "thank you" luncheons for volunteers.

Why do some people automatically take jabs at a business? Parents need to know where their kids are, and 11:30PM is not that late, if the party had adults present, and available. Illusions management ought not be expected to provide child care for anyone.


Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 21, 2012 at 7:33 pm

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

There is an ap out there that you can kill a phone with a call from another phone. If most phone users got that ap, the robberies would stop.


Posted by Davey-o, a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jun 22, 2012 at 9:06 am

While 14 is maybe on the young side. I, for one, would far rather have them there, at a business in a, busy downtown location than sitting at home and staring into a video game for 10 hours at a crack!
The benefits are obvious:

1) REAL socialization. With people that they would actually know if they saw. Not fake on-line personalities.

2) Stuff like this will happen AND they'll learn from it; become StreetSmart. That way they won't be in WAY OVER THEIR HEADS when they go off to college in New Haven Connecticut.

It's all part of growing up and becoming independent.


Posted by TimH, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 22, 2012 at 10:49 am

Interesting thread here. I think that everyone has decided that better parenting, responsible chaperones, remembering what it is like to be a teen, and perhaps lessons in truth-telling are all in order. I'm sorry for the crime that started it, but we need to consider the environmental factors.

It's not a "jab" against Club Illusions, but rather a question about what Palo Alto wants to be as a city. Please keep the "snobby" remarks to yourself. Perhaps we are just "old farts" in training but I do remember being a teen and going to the Keystone-then-Edge club many times, getting drunk first at Antonio's (where the only carding is asking for Visa, etc.) and optionally getting high before going to hear the band. I'm glad that Illusions has cleaned up the persona with a "classy" place but it's all the same factors surrounding it. Palo Altans who know our history may recall, and reluctantly admit to our colorful past in Barron Park with gambling, drugs and prostitution, prior to annexation. Mayfield was only spared from booze due to its proximity to Stanford, but Palo Alto was not the BMW capitol then as it is today. On the flip side, I also remember a California Ave. that didn't have a club, but rather Bishops, and later Roundtable, as the place to hang out once you were too old for Patterson's!

The point is, when does everyone decide that enough is enough? School events used to be at THE SCHOOL and not at clubs. The prom was the time to shine in public at an adult venue, not this. Just ask the next PA cop you see on California Ave about the clubs at 260 and if they like their presence. If your kids can't hold the drinks back to drive to Sunnyvale or Mountain View, perhaps they shouldn't be going anyplace. Thanks for reading.


Posted by Deep Throat, a resident of another community
on Jun 22, 2012 at 3:18 pm

Illusions will soon be demolished to make way for another new office building: Web Link


Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 22, 2012 at 3:43 pm

The kid was still a victim of a crime. It's lousy what happened to her. And the idiot robber - really? Assuault & robbery for a stupid phone?


Posted by Davey-o, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jun 25, 2012 at 8:07 am

Taking a line from TimH's very valid comment, I have come up with a rhetorical answer to the "age-old" burning question of last decade, "What color is Palo Alto?"

The answer comes not in the form of a color, but a new city motto:
"Keep Palo Alto Snobby!"


Posted by C, a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 25, 2012 at 8:36 am

Walter, how's about the fingerprint security scan App running on the background and can lock down the phone!


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