Teen arrested for alleged robbery at Caltrain station

17-year-old accused of hitting man in the face with a shoe

A 17-year-old boy was arrested for allegedly snatching a cellphone from a man's hand at the University Avenue Caltrain station early Thursday morning, Palo Alto police said in a statement.

The victim, a man in his 60s, was sitting on a bench on the southbound train platform at 95 University Ave. at about 12:55 a.m. when he noticed a person loitering nearby. The teen allegedly approached the man and hit him in the face with what was thought to be a shoe before he snatched the man's cellphone out of his hand, police said.

The victim tried to chase the teen as he ran away but he could not catch the alleged assailant. Police officers responded to the scene immediately after receiving a dispatch call about the incident and detained the teen at 1:02 a.m. on University Avenue near High Street. The victim complained of pain to his face but did not require medical treatment, police said.

Officers recovered the victim's cellphone in bushes in the 400 block of Alma Street, where the teen allegedly dumped it after seeing police officers in the area searching for him. The teen, an East Palo Alto resident, was taken into custody without incident and booked on suspicion of robbery, which is a felony. Officers transported him to Santa Clara County Juvenile Hall. Booking photographs and names of juveniles are not released by police.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the Palo Alto Police Department's 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to or sent by text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through the Police Department's free mobile app, downloadable at or


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