Police search for armed robbery suspect

Suspect is unknown, remains at large

Police are looking for a man suspected of robbing a man at gunpoint in downtown Palo Alto on Saturday night — the first armed street robbery of the year.

A man in his 20s called police around 11 p.m. to report he had just been robbed in the 500 block of Homer Avenue, police said in a press release Sunday.

The man was walking east on the north sidewalk of the 500 block of Homer Avenue at about 10:50 p.m. when a man approached him from behind and demanded his wallet, police said. The man attempted to run away, heading east on Homer Avenue, but the alleged suspect caught up to him and pushed him to the ground.

The alleged suspect stood over the man, placed a handgun to his forehead and demanded his property, police said. The man gave his wallet and cellphone; the alleged suspect then ran away west on Homer Avenue.

The man, who sustained minor abrasions as a result of being pushed to the ground, went to friend's house and called police.

He described the alleged suspect as a black or Hispanic man in his 20s, about 5 feet 6 inches tall with a thin build, police said. He was wearing a white and red bandanna over his face, a white and red baseball hat, a dark-colored jacket, and loose-fitting blue jeans. The man described the weapon as a dark-colored handgun.

Police said a sketch of the suspect is not likely to be produced, since the alleged robber's face was covered.

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 or sent via 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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17 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Professorville
on Mar 11, 2018 at 12:28 pm

This part of town is scary at night after all the businesses are closed. A lot of people do walk from the downtown restaurants to their homes in central Palo Alto at around this time. I wish the police would increase foot patrols along popular pedestrian routes. With the very dim street lights and parked SUVs blocking the view of the sidewalk, police in patrol cars can't see much.

4 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Mar 11, 2018 at 12:56 pm

Just around the block from where someone met his end on Christmas 2015.

15 people like this
Posted by anneke
a resident of Professorville
on Mar 11, 2018 at 1:00 pm

I completely agree with the comments from "resident" above. As a woman, I will not walk after it is dark, even though we only live about ten blocks from downtown. I also feel that the garages downtown are not safe enough.

It seems that nearly everyone owns guns nowadays. How terribly scary!

I support and applaud our young people in school for standing up against guns. They will be adults soon.

8 people like this
Posted by Mossy
a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Mar 11, 2018 at 3:23 pm

[Post removed.]

5 people like this
Posted by Jack
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 11, 2018 at 8:02 pm

We live in Palo Alto because it is a safe community, free of crime. I can walk around at night without fear of being mugged or assualuted. The political police are vigiltant and will protect me from harm.

22 people like this
Posted by Barbara
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 12, 2018 at 11:26 am

Why don't we have police officers on foot patrol???

16 people like this
Posted by vafer
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 12, 2018 at 11:36 am

Some surveillance cameras would make sense in public areas like this.

5 people like this
Posted by bike commuter
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Mar 12, 2018 at 11:47 am

You can even walk around the street of south side Chicago after 12AM, as I did everyday for 3 years. Multiple gangstaz seen, no incidents. Street smart strongly recommended.

3 people like this
Posted by Inanimate Object
a resident of Menlo Park
on Mar 12, 2018 at 10:11 pm

@anneke, the CRIMINAL could have easily used a knife. What would you have blamed then?

3 people like this
Posted by Matt Perl
a resident of Professorville
on Mar 13, 2018 at 12:10 am

I'm glad the guy who got robbed is okay. I hope anyone looking for guidance on safety in public spaces would call the Palo Alto PD. I'm sure they have sound information and advice.

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

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