A 17-year-old girl who police said punched a woman from behind and stole her purse on Waverley Street on Saturday night was arrested seconds later a block away from the crime.
Police said the victim, a woman in her 40s, was walking south on Waverley Street, between Forest and Homer avenues, shortly before 10 p.m. at the time of the assault. The attacker, a 17-year-old girl from East Palo Alto whose identity police are not releasing, ran up from behind the victim, punched her in the back of the head, pushed her to the ground and pulled her purse from her shoulder. The attacker then began running north on Waverley Street.
At the same time, a patrol officer who was driving on Waverley Street saw the victim chasing the girl and screaming, "She stole my purse!" The office detained the purse-snatcher a block away without incident and recovered the woman's purse, all of its contents intact.
Police aren't releasing the girl's name because she is as juvenile. She was taken to to the Santa Clara County Juvenile Hall.
The victim suffered minor scratches to her face and knees. She was treated by the Palo Alto Fire Department and released at the scene.