Teens catch alleged purse snatcher | News | Palo Alto Online |


Teens catch alleged purse snatcher

Menlo Park teen was chased down by 17-year-old Good Samaritans

A Menlo Park teenager was chased down Saturday (June 4) and held for police by two 17-year-old Good Samaritans after he allegedly snatched a tourist's purse, according to East Palo Alto police.

Joshua Wallbank Mahoni, 18, allegedly grabbed the bag at about 3:15 p.m. from a 20-year-old German woman at the Ravenswood 101 Retail Center at 1771 East Bayshore Road in East Palo Alto, police said.

Two youths ran after Mahoni and helped responding officers arrest him, according to police.

Mahoni was booked into county jail, where he faces robbery charges. The German tourist's purse was returned to her without anything missing. No injuries were reported, police said.

What is community worth to you?
Support local journalism.


Like this comment
Posted by Great job!
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 6, 2011 at 10:08 am

There is always so much negativity surrounding teenagers and their actions and behaviors.

What a breath of fresh air to read this article. Thank you, Good Samaritans, for taking action!

Like this comment
Posted by Trish Fullerton
a resident of Mountain View
on Jun 6, 2011 at 10:29 am

This story just makes me feel so proud of these good kids! This kind of incident could sully our reputation worldwide. Heap loads of thanks to these good kids who saw a wrong and took action. I am filled with hope for our kids. Way to go guys, you have a bright future ahead!

Like this comment
Posted by Midtown Shopper
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 6, 2011 at 11:27 am

In the past few months, I have been approached by panhandlers coming right up to my car door as I was getting out of the car to shop at Nordstrom's Rack. One was a man on a bike who asked for money because he just got out of prison and yesterday it was by a woman also asking for money. I felt really uncomfortable as they were "invading" my personal space. This was not someone asking for money by the door of the retail establishment but inches from me by my door. I can't help but wonder why there is no real security in the parking lots. It's great about the teens helping, but a security presense would be really helpful.

Like this comment
Posted by Mom
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 6, 2011 at 11:46 am

I have had the same experience of being trapped by panhandlers while in the drive through line at mcdonalds in east Palo alto. It is scary to have an aggressive person banging on the car window when you feel like you are trapped.

Like this comment
Posted by Palo Parent
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jun 6, 2011 at 12:05 pm

About half the times that I go to Home Depot I see the people working the folks interacting with their cars. It's always like: "I'm broke, need carfare, my wife and I are sleeping in the demo sheds" (really!), bla bla bla. What fixed it for me is just to park a little farther away from the HD doors, easier pickings close up I reckon?

Like this comment
Posted by Stuart Berman
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 6, 2011 at 12:06 pm

Good job kids. You did your part in helping maintain US-German relations.

Like this comment
Posted by Bob
a resident of another community
on Jun 6, 2011 at 12:57 pm

Just goes to show that there a lots of good youngsters around. Good work guys.

Like this comment
Posted by BaaBaaRaa
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jun 6, 2011 at 4:16 pm

WOW! Thank you, beautiful teens! You have reaffirmed my faith in humanity! I am your super fan.... Much love and good karma to you who didn't just stand by and do nothing, photograph it, or video it, etc. instead of react. Hats off to your parents also! That takes real morals, bravery, and probably good physical fitness. You deserve a super commendation!

Like this comment
Posted by Christine
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 6, 2011 at 5:09 pm

Proud of these teens for taking action and setting a great example for other youth in our community!

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


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

All your news. All in one place. Every day.

Los Altos's State of Mind opening NYC-inspired pizza shop in Palo Alto
By Elena Kadvany | 16 comments | 7,911 views

Flying: How much is enough? It's personal.
By Sherry Listgarten | 12 comments | 2,589 views

Wait, wait – we’re working on it
By Diana Diamond | 18 comments | 2,158 views

My Pet Peeves
By John Raftrey and Lori McCormick | 7 comments | 1,682 views

Goodbye toy stores
By Cheryl Bac | 4 comments | 922 views


Short story writers wanted!

The 34th Annual Palo Alto Weekly Short Story Contest is now accepting entries for Adult, Young Adult and Teen categories. Send us your short story (2,500 words or less) and entry form by March 27, 2020. First, Second and Third Place prizes awarded in each category. Sponsored by Kepler's Books, Linden Tree Books and Bell's Books.

Contest Details