News


Armed man robs woman in Palo Alto driveway

Thief threatens woman with handgun, steals purse shortly after midnight

An armed robber stole a Palo Alto woman's purse shortly after midnight today (Saturday, Jan. 8) just after she had parked her car in her driveway in the 2300 block of St. Francis Drive, near Oregon Expressway, police reported.

The woman was not injured, officer Marianna Villaescusa said.

She said a man approached the woman, pointed a handgun at her and demanded property, running off south toward Oregon after she handed over her purse.

The victim noticed a sedan with its motor running parked several houses away, but it is unknown if it is associated with the robbery, Villaescusa reported.

The man was described as a black male 18 to 20 years old, tall with a medium build, and clean shaven. He was wearing a flat-brimmed baseball cap, a grey hooded sweatshirt and baggy jeans, the woman reported.

Villaescusa repeated a frequent police reminder to community members to be aware of their surroundings at all times, especially during evening hours, and to report any suspicious activity as soon as possible.

She said it is not known if this robbery is connected to other recent robberies with similar patterns. She asked anyone with information to call the Police Department at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to paloalto@tipnow.org, or anonymous voicemails and text messages can be sent to 650-383-8984.

-- Palo Alto Weekly staff

Comments

Like this comment
Posted by Sam
a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 8, 2011 at 9:13 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Like this comment
Posted by Useless Comments
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 8, 2011 at 9:51 am

Sam,

I'm sure the robber would head right for the bicycle bridge, where he could be so easily trapped.

A less vapid comment might note that a car was waiting, and every one of us should check out our street for out-of-place vehicles when we come home late at night.


Like this comment
Posted by PA Dad
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 8, 2011 at 11:00 am

PA Dad is a registered user.

Another nighttime robbery by a tall black male in the Duveneck neighborhood, but "...it is not known if this robbery is connected to other recent robberies with similar patterns." Right.

So now I am walking women to their cars at night, hoping that will help.

What interests me more is how "he" happens to be on a quiet street just when a lone woman pulls into the driveway. Cruising about? Waiting for prey? Or perhaps following people home from downtown or Oregon Expressway?

If it is one of the latter two methods, baiting a trap shouldn't be too hard to do. Hopefully PAPD doing something like that.

- PA Dad


Like this comment
Posted by Hulkamania
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 8, 2011 at 11:54 am

This is the same block where a woman was beaten severely during a home invasion robbery and car theft. The car was found abandoned in EPA.


Like this comment
Posted by Observer
a resident of South of Midtown
on Jan 8, 2011 at 12:13 pm

Oregon Expressway connects with two major freeways that lead to many other communities. We don't know where this guy came from, where he went, or who he is. I very much hope he gets caught, no matter what the answers are. It is difficult to avoid stereotyping when this sort of thing happens. The recent arrest of an EPA resident for similar crimes, along with its close proximity, make it an easy target for the blame. Let's try and keep in mind that EPA is full of good people who would never do this and comments like this are demeaning to them and to the people who make them.


Like this comment
Posted by still
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jan 8, 2011 at 12:53 pm

yes its difficult not to profile , but still whites do not get profiled when a suspect is ''white''. why the double standard. is it racism?


Like this comment
Posted by Sam
a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 8, 2011 at 12:54 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Like this comment
Posted by Useless Comments
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 8, 2011 at 1:41 pm

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.] But the point is, what good does it do to stereotype an entire community because of the actions of a few? Better to suggest ways to be safe, protect others, etc., as did PA Dad. This string of robberies and the different cars involved both suggest that this may be the work of a gang of thieves and robbers. Maybe it's time to reinvigorate some neighborhood watch groups.


Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jan 8, 2011 at 3:33 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

I feel terrible for the victim; she has my sympathy. What a terrifying experience & to be so singled out, mainly by being a woman coming home late at night. I do wonder if potential victims are being followed. These are obviously dangerous crimes which can escalate quickly & the return on the "investment" isn't that much for the thugs. What, at most someone would have a few hundred dollars & would cancel credit cards & watch for identity theft? For this, a gun is used in a close physical encounter which can quickly go awry? I hope someone drops a dime on these nasty characters so they get caught.

So local women now have to be on the lookout for men assaulting women AND robbing them, different sets of bad guys.

I'm one of the lucky ones who can pull right up to my door, usually has a dog w/me, neighbors close by & the area well lit. Still, I keep an eye out.


Like this comment
Posted by Richard Clark
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 9, 2011 at 8:25 am

Richard Clark is a registered user.

I live on this block. I believe Hulkamania's comment about the beating is not correct, at least in terms of the location.

I think I am going to start looking into webcam technology.

Richard Clark


Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jan 9, 2011 at 10:47 am

Hmmm is a registered user.

Richard Clark - can you add any logistical info to this thread, such as how easy it might be to lurk in the dark, or follow the victim, etc?


Like this comment
Posted by Retired Teacher
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 9, 2011 at 5:31 pm

Retired Teacher is a registered user.

I've been following this thread, and I'm not clear on why Sam's 2 posts were removed and Hulkamania's was not. Not that the posts had much worthwhile to say, but surely EPA is not a sacred cow, and the posts were not racist. One of Sam's quotes was critical of PA Online--was that why it was removed?

Are there specific, published criteria for removing posts?


Like this comment
Posted by MiSmi
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 9, 2011 at 8:05 pm

MiSmi is a registered user.

Is it time to get license plate readers at entry/exit points and major intersections in the City to use for investigating cars used in major crimes like this?

I hope the NIMBY mentality and Big Brother ignorance stays quiet on this one....


Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jan 10, 2011 at 11:00 am

Hmmm is a registered user.

Actually, Sam's first comment was offensive. Palo Alto's no sacred cow, either & until people knock off the nasty, knee jerk comments about EPA that are based on their assumptions about EPA residents, I'll flag their comments - especially when problems w/people of the same race/ethnic background & gender are ignored on these threads.

For example, where is the speculation about the white man attacking women in Palo Alto? Where is the outrage? With so many crimes against women in this area, which is a microcosm of what happens to women in the bay area, why are people not commenting on that? As long as the comments hyper focus on blaming EPA residents, the more alarming crimes & aspects of some of these crimes being discussed will be ignored. I mean no disrespect towards the male victims of the strong arm & armed street robberies, nor am I in denial about thugs who live in EPA. But to only focus on crimes w/nonwhite suspects is shortsighted & bigoted. It's really easy to point the finger at the "other" who comes in from outside your community. It's harder to take a look at who dwells within your community because they blend in & no one notices, whether or not they actually live in PA.


Like this comment
Posted by Hulkamania
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 10, 2011 at 12:09 pm

Hulkamania is a registered user.

Richard Clark sez: "I live on this block. I believe Hulkamania's comment about the beating is not correct, at least in terms of the location."

You would be incorrect Richard. The home invasion took place in one of the homes in the small court in the 2300 block of St. Francis. You probably haven't lived here long enough to remember.


Like this comment
Posted by Hulkamania
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jan 10, 2011 at 12:16 pm

Hulkamania is a registered user.

And, Richard, you probably didn't live on the block when our next door neighbor's daughter was car jacked at gun point by two black males in their driveway in the 2200 block of St. Francis. Her abandoned car was found in EPA.

Good fingerprints were found that led to arrests of the two males. The ADA on the case said they would both go away for a long time based on the use of a gun. They eventually were both cut loose on a technicality. Go figure.


Like this comment
Posted by DAN-O
a resident of JLS Middle School
on Jan 10, 2011 at 1:22 pm

DAN-O is a registered user.

I would think cameras on exit points would help.
Why be camera shy, let's stop this know. It doesn't matter where
these people live. They may live here?


Like this comment
Posted by Ladrome
a resident of another community
on Jan 10, 2011 at 1:51 pm

Ladrome is a registered user.

Thanks PA Dad.... your post was helpful, as are your actions walking women to their cars. I will definitely be more aware of cars on my street, although there are so many because of all the construction and new garden installation.

I hate cowards that snatch defenseless womens' purses on the woman's home turf. Total CREEPS. I hope they are caught soon and that there are more chivalrous acts by local men.


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

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