A would-be thief who was caught allegedly stealing a lawnmower from a Palo Alto gardener was arrested Thursday (May 26) after punching the victim in the stomach and fleeing the scene, a Palo Alto police spokesman said.
Aley Palacio, 29, of San Francisco, was arrested for felony robbery and was booked into the San Jose main jail.
The victim was working in a yard in the 2500 block of Webster Street between Marion Avenue and Middlefield Road at about 11 a.m. when the incident occurred, according to police. He saw a pick-up truck backed up to his vehicle and Palacio was allegedly loading the lawnmower into the back of the pick-up truck.
The victim told Palacio to return the lawnmower and Palacio put the mower on the ground, police said. The victim tried to prevent Palacio from leaving the scene and said he would call police.
Palacio allegedly punched the victim in the stomach and drove away. Police were able to apprehend him at Middlefield Road and San Antonio Road with license-plate information provided by the victim.