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Man beaten, robbed at Stanford Shopping Center

Original post made on Jan 25, 2012

A man in his 60s was beaten and robbed by several men -- including one armed with a handgun -- near the Macy's Men's Store at Stanford Shopping Center Wednesday afternoon, Palo Alto police said.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, January 25, 2012, 6:08 PM

Comments (24)

Posted by insiders, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jan 25, 2012 at 6:53 pm

How did a crew of gangsters just happen to know that this guy was loaded with jewelry? Did he call the store to make an appointment before hand? Sounds like an inside job.


Posted by Time-To-Sue, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 25, 2012 at 8:27 pm

It's time for someone to sue the property management company for failing to insure people's safety .. and not providing adequate surveillance that would be helpful to police.


Posted by Jake, a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 25, 2012 at 9:09 pm

Horrible story!!!!


Posted by Midtown, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 25, 2012 at 9:24 pm

Re: insiders

This sounds like they simply staked out the jewelry store and marked the guy as he walked out as likely to be carrying valuables. I'd expect there are or should be sufficient cameras in the vicinity to spot these crooks and their vehicle.


Posted by Palo Altan, a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jan 26, 2012 at 12:13 am

What an asinine comment about suing the property management company. I thought Palo Alto had intellectuals.


Posted by WOW, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 26, 2012 at 3:17 am

Sounds pretty fishy...i would suspect every one maybe the victim. but surely his family or people acting strangly around the shopping mall..prime location lots of people around but yet no one saw anything. How could he just have been chosen out of many in the mall.. hmmm


Posted by JustMe, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 26, 2012 at 8:57 am

I agree with Midtown, they probably had someone "shopping" in the jewelry store and just followed him to the parking garage. They may have pre-selected that jewelry store because of the type and volume of business it does, figuring that good targets come by there. The fact that the suspects were well dressed may indicate they were attempting to blend into the crowd of well-dressed shoppers. It sounds like a pre-organized crime to me that went victim-shopping.

I would be interested to hear if there was any usable surveylance videos shot, how good is the coverage in that garage?

"I thought Palo Alto had intellectuals."
Not everyone in Palo Alto is an intellectual, as you demonstrate so aptly.


Posted by Nayeli, a resident of Midtown
on Jan 26, 2012 at 9:11 am

@ JustMe:

I agree. Valentine's Day is just over two weeks away and these men were probably waiting around for a victim carrying merchandise.

I hope that they find these animals. Such disgusting criminals like this are harming society. They should be imprisoned for a long time and then tagged and identified if they ever make it outside.

Sadly, these types of vermin are seldom embarrassed for their crimes or hideous acts. They are just embarrassed to have been caught.


Posted by Time-To-Sue, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 26, 2012 at 9:19 am

> What an asinine comment about suing
> the property management company

This man was injured on the property management's place of business. Who will pay his medical bills, and compensate him for the loss of his property? Perhaps he has insurance, but if he doesn't he will have to pay--unless he sues the property management company for not maintaining a safe business environment.

The underlying issue is: what is it going to take to get Simon Properties (the property management company) to:

1) install adequate surveillance equipment in the mall?
2) install panic buttons so people without cell phones can alert security?
3) hire adequate security personnel so that there is a clear "profile" of mall police during most business hours?
4) make the record of attacks/thefts on the Stanford Mall public?
This incident is the second in a week involving attacks, or attempted car theft, in the Mall parking lot. Simon Properties seems to be keeping a pretty low profile about safety.

The bottom line is that if Simon Properties is sued by the victims of these attacks, then sooner-or-later they will attend to the complaints of the law suits. Having better surveillance equipment would be a good start. As it is, Simon isn't doing anything to make the Mall safer.


Posted by Enough!, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jan 26, 2012 at 10:14 am

A LOT of attacks happen at that mall that never get reported. There's a very special penalty for thugs, too bad they don't all get it.


Posted by Enough!, a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jan 26, 2012 at 10:18 am

I can tell you ALL ABOUT mall security after closing time at Stanford Mall when just the restaurant people are working...having kids who have worked there since 1999 I can tell you that the security presence is non existent and leaves people walking with tips in their pockets prime prey to thugs. I've had the dubious pleasure of going to pick up one of my kids when we have had car issues and have to wait sometimes upwards of an hour, and bored out of my mind, I've made a point of watching for security sweeping the lot...ha! Barely happens, and in the winter? Even less. You can actually see the dew/frost on the windshields of their parked vehicles. Want your vehicle broken into? Park on the third story of the parking structure, that's an almost guaranteed problem. I went to the PD once wanting actual crime statistics from that mall, but I would have had to pay some ridiculous amount of money to get it, so I settled for reading everything I could and word of mouth accounts.


Posted by mutti, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jan 26, 2012 at 11:33 am

I drove by yesterday about 3:30 and saw all the police and crime tape -- wondered what had happened! This wasn't in a 'dark' parking garage. It was on the north side in broad daylight with cars driving by regularly along Sand Hill road and the road in the parking lot. The car was only 4 or 5 cars away from the road next to Pottery Barn -- very visible as I drove by. This is pretty scary. I also assume the robbers staked out the jewelry store..... It says they got away, but from that spot you can't speed to anywhere -- have to go out to El Camino one way, or weave around the parking lot out to Sand Hill.


Posted by just another robbery in PA, a resident of Green Acres
on Jan 26, 2012 at 1:41 pm

I agree with time to sue. The only way to get Simon Property Mngmnt to do anything about this is to hit them in their wallet. People getting brutally beaten in the middle of the day is totally unacceptable.


Posted by greenz, a resident of South of Midtown
on Jan 26, 2012 at 3:31 pm

but they are still citing and arresting for marijuana - unbelievable.


Posted by Sueindeed, a resident of Community Center
on Jan 26, 2012 at 5:16 pm

I would then sue all the people that saw it and did nothing to help.


Posted by What store?, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 26, 2012 at 7:15 pm

So what jewelry store are we talking about?
Had to be close to Pottery Barn, right?


Posted by anonymous, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 27, 2012 at 9:46 am

I saw a local tv news report that indicated it was in front of Macy's Men's (El Camino Real side -- open lot with plenty of visibility) in broad daylight. This IS scary. Stuff can happen in parking garages but that isn't the case here...
The news report interviewed one youngish man who stated he always or frequently sees plenty of mall security (footage then showed a security guy going by on a whatchacallit wheeled vehicle). This contradicts my own experience, whereby I rarely see any mall security there...it is clearly a very high end shopping center with lots of valuable stuff there, aside from what visitors are carrying, and perhaps they need to be more vigilant because of that fact.


Posted by musical, a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 27, 2012 at 11:23 am

Each store apparently has its own security, judging from the number of reported shoplifters apprehended (cited and released).


Posted by More-Video-Surveillance-Needed, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 27, 2012 at 11:35 am

> Each store apparently has its own security

As they should. But what about surveillance in the common areas and parking lots? If store video surveillance happens to be useful in identifying a person-of-interest to the police, that's great. But stores should not be expected to do the job that Simon Properties should be doing.


Posted by neighbor, a resident of another community
on Jan 27, 2012 at 12:42 pm

I shop at Stanford Mall weekly and always, during every visit, see Security vehicles making the rounds. Folks, #$%& happens everywhere, and violent crimes happen less in Palo Alto than in most of the Bay Area.

But it happens even with adequate security measures. Unfortunately, it is very true that you or I could have been the victim....so I hope we all remain alert and are always vigilant while out in the community. This is a sad comment on modern life, but an unavoidable truth.

My heart goes out to the victim, I wish him a full recovery. Perhaps PaloAltoOnline will keep the community informed about the victim's progress --- as I am sure it will let us know about efforts to arrest the perpetrators.


Posted by JustMe, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 27, 2012 at 1:05 pm

Just a thought on the intelligence of these crooks:

Since there were multiple guys confronting a lone victim, they should have been able to do their dirty deed without producing a firearm, one would think. But by producing that gun, they raised the alert-level of the police and elevated the need to capture and stop them, before the gun gets used. It also increases the penalties of the crime when a gun is in evidence. So by producing that gun, they probably did not make the task of robbery any easier, but they have attracted more law-enforcement attention and increased the penalties if/when they get caught. Not bright, if you ask me.

I could see having a gun in case the victim has a gun, but unless the victim gets threatening, I would think you would want to keep the gun hidden.


Posted by Beth, a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 27, 2012 at 1:24 pm

They were probably working in groups - probably had one guy sitting or hanging outside stalking the jewelry place, marks a victim then calls his friend up who is hanging near the parking lot "Hey, a guy in a red shirt, that's our target."

It's almost VDay - they know jewelry is going to be a major ordeal, especially with the elite Tiffany's at Stanford Mall.

Are there not cameras at the mall? Heck, Target's parking lot is infested with hidden cameras.


Posted by Time-To-Sue, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 27, 2012 at 3:02 pm

Some people don't seem to understand the capability of current surveillance technology (particularly the Palo Alto police):

Web Link

One of the underlying problems with facial recognition software is that the people using it have to have access to a database of individuals to do the necessary pattern matching required to identify a possible "perp".

Given that there are dozens of police agencies in the Bay Area, it is clear that some sort of regional effort is needed to allow police in one area to merge all of the photos of known criminals together to increase the possibility of identifying one/more people involved in crimes that have been captured on video.

At the moment, there seems to be little more than collective ignorance on the part of most police departments of this technology, and certainly no official cooperation between jurisdictions to facilitate the sharing of arrest records, or other "intel" that might lead to quicker identification, and quicker arrests, of criminals who are believed to have committed crimes in our towns.


Posted by Nora Charles, a resident of Stanford
on Feb 14, 2012 at 4:03 am

Nora Charles is a registered user.

I shop at Stanford about once a week and usually see security personnel in the mall and security vehicles of various types driving through the parking lots. Of course, they can't be everywhere, but I've been more aware of security than at this shopping center. I hope surveillance cameras are in use as well.

By the way, when I mentioned this to an employee at the Macy's Men's Store, he was unaware of the crime. Shouldn't all mall employees be apprised of such incidents?


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