Palo Alto police are looking for a man who allegedly stole a woman's cellphone out of the hand of a teenage girl who had asked to borrow it to make a call in downtown Palo Alto on Monday, according to a police department press release.
At about 6:43 p.m., the police department's 24-hour dispatch center received a call reporting the robbery, which took place on University Avenue near Bryant Street. Officers responded to the area but could not locate the suspect.
Investigators said two women, one in her 30s and the other in her 20s, were walking on University and stopped at the intersection of Bryant when a 16-year-old girl approached them and asked if she could borrow a cellphone to call her mother. One of the women gave the girl her cell phone.
The girl had taken the cellphone, dialed a number and held the phone to her ear when a unknown suspect walked up behind her and took the phone out of her hand and fled through city parking garage "S," at 445 Bryant St., police said. The owner of the cellphone and the girl chased after the suspect but lost him after he jumped over a short wall onto Florence Street, police said. The other women called police on her cellphone. No one was injured, police said.
The victims described the suspect as a dark-skinned male, either black or Latino, in his mid-20s, about 6 feet, 1 inch tall with a thin build. He had short brown hair and was wearing a black tank top and dark-colored shorts.
No sketch of the man is available, police said.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the police department's 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or sent via text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984.