Palo Alto woman robbed in front of her home

Police actively investigating the 7 p.m. Saturday purse-snatching, the latest of several recent robberies

A Palo Alto woman was robbed in front of her home in the 900 block of El Cajon Way shortly after 7 p.m. Saturday, police reported.

Police said the robbery "may or may not" be related to other recent robberies in the area but that they are actively investigating the robberies.

Police reported that the woman, in her 40s, was returning home and parked her car in her driveway. When she got out, she saw a man jogging toward her on the sidewalk, then heard footsteps behind her as she approached her front door.

She said she turned and saw the man walking toward her, then the man grabbed her shoulders and she started screaming for help. He grabbed her purse and ran off. She said he got into a dark-colored four-door sedan with its lights off and sped off.

The man was described as black with short hair, between 25 and 45 years old, and about 6 feet tall with a medium build. He was wearing a black T-shirt and dark pants.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Police Department at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be e-mailed to, or anonymous voicemails and text messages can be sent to 650-383-8984.

The department in a press release issued its standard cautionary advice: "Avoid situations where a robber may strike. Try to stay in well-lit, populated areas, and try not to walk alone.

"While circumstances will vary and every person will have to make their own decision on how to respond to a unique situation, it is generally safer to comply with a robber's demands. Remember it is not worth it to be harmed over property, which can always be replaced."

-- Palo Alto Online staff

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Like this comment
Posted by Neighbor
a resident of Triple El
on Dec 12, 2010 at 9:36 am

It may have helped if the City would have replaced burnt out street lights in the area!

Like this comment
Posted by JB
a resident of Greendell/Walnut Grove
on Dec 12, 2010 at 9:46 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Like this comment
Posted by Active_Community
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Dec 12, 2010 at 11:54 am

Active_Community is a registered user.

A woman being followed to her quiet neighborhood home and attacked as she walks from her car to her front door at 7pm tells us that crime is getting more serious. We need to get similarly serious about our priorities in Palo Alto. A major increase in police presence, better lighting, etc. -- there are many things that would clearly reduce such crimes. But they cost money, and in times of tough budgets, it means we need cut other things that are less important to us.

We need to tell our political leaders to have this discussion. Or we need to put in leaders that will.

Like this comment
Posted by dsn
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Dec 13, 2010 at 11:25 am

dsn is a registered user.

This is horrible that something like this could happen on such a quiet street in our neighborhood.

I wanted to let "Neighbor" know that I received the following info from one of my neighbors and found the city was very responsive replacing the burnt out street light when I called them to let them know of one on my street. I would recommend you give them a call if you notice a burnt out light:

If you notice street lights out - and especially those on top of traffic signals, please call the Palo Alto system operators at 496-6916 M-F, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. After hours calls are handled by Appletree Answers weekends and holidays. You can contact them at 496-6914.

Although Caltrans services the lights at 101 interchanges and the El Camino/Page Mill intersection, it is 'expeditious' to report those also to the City so it can be routed to
the correct jurisdiction.

Note the number on the pole in your neighborhood, or the location if driving by in your auto.

Like this comment
Posted by
a resident of Professorville
on Dec 13, 2010 at 11:27 am

A map with a circle around the location would help. So a person does not have to look up El Cajon on a map.


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