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Police release sketch in attempted robberies, burglary

Officers believe same suspect was involved in incidents on Waverley, Tasso and Walter Hays

Palo Alto police are investigating two attempted street robberies and one residential burglary that occurred in the north end of the city Saturday morning (Dec. 10).

Police released a sketch of the man believed to be responsible for the crimes Thursday (Dec. 15).

No one was injured in any of the events, which occurred on Waverley Street, Tasso Street and Walter Hays Drive. Officers said they believe the same person likely committed the three crimes.

The first attempted robbery occurred in the 300 block of Waverley about 10:10 a.m. On a bicycle, a man approached a female pedestrian in her 50s and, in Spanish, demanded money. When she refused, he gestured toward his waistband and said, in Spanish, that he had a gun.

No weapon was seen or displayed. The victim again refused to give him money and he rode away.

The second attempted robbery occurred about 10:25 a.m. in the 1900 block of Tasso. The suspect rode a bicycle up behind a 14-year-old male pedestrian who was carrying an iPod. The suspect said "hi" in Spanish, causing the boy to turn around. The suspect tried to grab the iPod out of the victim's hand but the victim held onto it and ran away. No weapon was seen or displayed.

The residential burglary occurred at 10:40 a.m. in the 100 block of Walter Hays. A neighbor observed the suspect ride a bicycle into the driveway of the victim's residence. The neighbor saw the suspect enter through the victim's open garage door, steal a bicycle from the garage and ride away, leaving the old bicycle behind.

The description of the suspect was similar in all three events.

Victims and the witness described him as a Hispanic male in his 40s, about 5 feet 6 inches tall, with a thin build. He was unshaven and possibly had a mustache. He was wearing a gray, hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans. He was last seen riding away on Walter Hays Drive on a stolen gray 21-speed Marin mountain bike.

Palo Alto officers, with assistance from the Stanford Department of Public Safety, the East Palo Alto Police Department and the Menlo Park Police Department, have been unable to locate the suspect.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Palo Alto Police 24-hour Dispatch Center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips may be e-mailed to paloalto@tipnow.org.

Chris Kenrick

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