News


Police nab purse-snatch suspects in 6 minutes

Woman walking in downtown Palo Alto accosted, threatened and robbed Monday night

A woman walking in downtown Palo Alto Monday evening was accosted by a man who jumped from a car, threatened her with a small baseball bat and stole her purse, police Chief Dennis Burns reported Tuesday (Sept. 21). (see press release)

Burns said the woman, in her 20s, was walking near Forest Avenue and Bryant Street at 8:30 p.m. when a white Acura pulled over and a man wielding a small baseball bat jumped out, grabbed her purse and sped off in the car.

Burns said an officer spotted a vehicle matching the description of the Acura at Highway 101 and Embarcadero Road about 6 minutes after the robbery, and pulled it over.

They found the woman's wallet and cell phone but not her purse, Burns said.

Both occupants of the vehicle were arrested on suspicion of robbery and booked into Santa Clara County Jail.

They were identified as Jose Alfredo Plaza, 18, of Santa Clara and Anal Harshad Patel, 21, of Sunnyvale. Plaza was charged with robbery, conspiracy and driving without a license. Patel, of Sunnyvale, was charged with robbery and conspiracy. Both suspects were booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail in San Jose.

-- Palo Alto Weekly staff

Comments

Like this comment
Posted by David
a resident of Professorville
on Sep 21, 2010 at 2:31 pm

Two more dirtbags busted.


Like this comment
Posted by Horace
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Sep 21, 2010 at 2:37 pm

> They were identified as Jose Plaza, 18, and Anal Patel, 21.
> Other details were not immediately available.

It's a shame that little details like the city of their residence could not be provided at times like these.


Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 21, 2010 at 3:32 pm

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

I have a suggestion for their residence for the next 5 years.


Like this comment
Posted by Applause
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Sep 21, 2010 at 4:13 pm

Right on, PAPD!

Surname of criminal is Patel? Interesting. He has disgraced his family name, for sure!


Like this comment
Posted by Kate
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 21, 2010 at 5:48 pm

Her purse was tossed someplace enroute to Embarcadero and 101. Everybody between Forest/Bryant and there should start looking.


Like this comment
Posted by Train Neighbor
a resident of Ventura
on Sep 21, 2010 at 8:41 pm

Mercury News article published their cities:
"Police arrested 18-year-old Jose Alfredo Plaza of Santa Clara on suspicion of robbery, conspiracy and driving without a license. They also arrested 21-year-old Anal Harshad Patel of Sunnyvale on suspicion of robbery and conspiracy."


Like this comment
Posted by Kate
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 21, 2010 at 9:01 pm

The Daily News on-line says that she DIALED 911, the police found the attacker/s at East Bayshore and Laura Lane - and recovered her PURSE.

www.dailynews.com


Like this comment
Posted by homegirl
a resident of another community
on Sep 21, 2010 at 9:44 pm

Applause-
perhaps his first name defines him better. or perhaps just a case of the labelling theory poking through.disgraced indeed!


Like this comment
Posted by homegirl
a resident of another community
on Sep 21, 2010 at 9:46 pm

qq-
where's the blow by blow from the police scanners? gets boring after a while, huh?


Like this comment
Posted by Applause
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Sep 21, 2010 at 9:54 pm

Homegirl: If his first named described him better, the crime would not have taken place next to the police station.


Like this comment
Posted by neighbor
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 22, 2010 at 10:45 am

Well done PA police. It's great to see the good guys come through. Lock 'em up for a long time.


Like this comment
Posted by dave
a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 22, 2010 at 11:09 am

Horace. I don't understand your statement about city of residence. The information was in the last paragraph of this online posting. Reading an article is better than skimming it.

Good police work.


Like this comment
Posted by Observer
a resident of South of Midtown
on Sep 22, 2010 at 11:46 am

Great work by the police. Wish they could be as effective when my car is broken into. They don't even show up for that. Hey qq, any time you have information for the rest of us, please share it. Your work is appreciated by many folks out here, despite the more vocal critics.


Like this comment
Posted by Applause
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Sep 22, 2010 at 11:50 am

Dave,

Stated at the top of the page, the article was updated on Wednesday morning. It did not state the cities initially, as I noticed that missing too.


Like this comment
Posted by wwwww
a resident of Greendell/Walnut Grove
on Sep 22, 2010 at 2:34 pm

so you cop cheerleaders who exist to cheer someones misfortune as w way to say ''way to go pap[d!'''. well, if you meet the same fate as some of these stories, we will cheer ''way to go papd'' as you are ,hopefully for your sake, alive or recovering or maybe damaged for life. your cheering demeans yourself.


Like this comment
Posted by Observer
a resident of South of Midtown
on Sep 22, 2010 at 2:54 pm

Dear Peter, An automobile is designed to carry, not only people, but also our belongings. I have a big car because I often need to transport many objects in it. If I was a pack mule, perhaps I could carry them all around where ever I go. Then I would not need a car. However, I'm a human being. At times it becomes necessary for me to get out of the car, lock the door, and leave it for a period of time, even though there might be objects inside of it. There is a law against breaking into a car and stealing these objects. Our police don't enforce this law by coming to the scene of such incidents, and then pursuing the perpetrators. The resulting lack of consequences has made such break ins common which gives rise to attitudes such as yours, which blame the victim of the crime, rather than the criminals. Keeping one's car empty might seem a good solution to the problem, but it is not. This is simply another example of the criminals being in control of law abiding citizens.


Like this comment
Posted by JustMe
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 22, 2010 at 5:34 pm

Observer, let me first state that I am totally sympathetic with you for getting your car broken in to. That is a bummer, not just for the items lost, but for the damage done to the car along the way and to your peace of mind and lost sense of security. It is very upsetting. I cannot fathom why the police might have been un-interested.

That said, I believe in several things:
1) You have a right to try to defend yourself and your belongings,
2) Your right to defense does not always include taking any violent action or exposing yourself to further risk
3) The police can use a little help at times and will respond more positivly when help is available
4) By helping to defend yourself you are also helping to defend others.

Motion-sensitive lights can deter many night-time crimes, do you have any that activate when someone approaches your car?

A simple security system, cameras and recorder, are not that expensive to buy and not too hard to install. If you called the police to report your car was broken in to and added "And I have video of them actually doing it" the police would probably beat a path to your door.

And as for your post wwwww, I can understand why some people would not like us "cop cheerleaders" and feel great sympathy for "someones misfortune" when they are pulled over and arrested for being in possession of items recently stolen in a brazen armed robbery, but I don't tend to have a lot of sympathy for anyone who would NOT cheer the cops for their action, would sympathize with the "poor criminals who got caught", and would no feel sympathy for the poor woman who was assaulted and robbed here. It actually sounds more to me like the cops missed a few, which is a pity.


Like this comment
Posted by Don
a resident of Menlo Park
on Sep 22, 2010 at 8:04 pm


I would like to thank the PAPD for doing an outstanding job with catching these 2 knuckle heads. Let just hope these 2 get the max punishment for their crime.

Thank you PAPD.
Don


Like this comment
Posted by Amy
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Sep 23, 2010 at 9:55 am

Great job by the palo alto police..they are always there when we really need them!


Like this comment
Posted by Observer
a resident of South of Midtown
on Sep 23, 2010 at 10:09 am

Thank you Just Me. I agree about the motion sensor lights as a deterrent. When parked at home I do remove all items of value from the car. I also leave it unlocked so they don't damage the windows, etc. They have gotten in and searched the car a number of times, but found nothing of value. It's when I have to park it out in the world and am unable to carry everything on my person that break ins have occurred. Unfortunately, the police don't come when such incidents take place in Palo Alto. The thieves know. This is why we are so often subjected to such crimes.


Like this comment
Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 23, 2010 at 11:18 am

I suppose this is harsh to say but why can't we ... society ... seem to tell that someone who does something like this is not the kind of person we want walking around free in public - ever.

One strike makes sense to me. I know we all want to be fair and give people the benefit of the doubt, but I just bet if we could follow these criminals though life it just gets worse for them and for all of us.

As far as prevention, who wants to always have to be on the lookout for someone jumping from a car or whatever ... we need to catch, identify, prosecute and track these people and we have to stop being so stupid as to continually let them go to poison other communities and children and terrorize other victims.

Maybe we should have communities where these kind of people all can live together away from the people who do not see the necessity to use violence or turn to crime to make a living or get their kicks.

Or maybe brand, tattoo, or require these people wear identifying bracelets or restraints at all times for the rest of their lives.

I just have zero tolerance or hope for peolpe like this.

What do you think?

By the way good job police department. To bad they did not resist arrest.


Like this comment
Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 23, 2010 at 11:19 am

Amy:
>Great job by the palo alto police..they are always there when we really need them!

Sadly that is just not true, and that kind of comment really bugs me.


Like this comment
Posted by Observer
a resident of South of Midtown
on Sep 23, 2010 at 12:10 pm

I agree with you Anon. Often, when we need them, our police are driving suspects to San Jose or something, because we don't have a place to put them here in Palo Alto. This transportation eats up a lot of their time and makes them unavailable when they are needed. We have some wonderful officers, but they can't be everywhere.


Like this comment
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Sep 23, 2010 at 1:23 pm

Kudos to the PAPD!

I wish that every criminal misfit was as quickly and easily apprehended! Our community needs to appreciate the efforts of our men and women in law enforcement who work to protect us from low life criminals like Mr. Anal Harshad Patel and Mr. Jose Alfredo Plaza.

Now, let's just hope that the California legal system is able to find housing for these two thugs for a...very...long...time.


Like this comment
Posted by Get Smart Ladies
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 23, 2010 at 4:46 pm

Sadly, they'll just get a wrap on the knuckles and let go to do the same thing again. That's what petty law breakers get when the jails are full, and that's why we have guys with such long wrap sheets and no jail time.

Lesson one don't carry a purse Downtown, wear one of those purses that are secured round your waist. I only used to do this when I went up to San Francisco, now it's necessary in Downtown Palo Alto.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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