Palo Alto police are investigating two attempted street robberies that they said occurred within a mile of each other on Saturday evening and that were each reportedly perpetrated by a man with a black cloth over his face.
In both cases, each victim was able to get away unscathed and without giving up his property.
Police received a call about the first attempted robbery at about 11:40 p.m. Saturday, according to a news release issued Monday from the Palo Alto Police Department. The victim, a man in his 50s, said he had had been walking near Newell Road and Dana Avenue, where a man who had his face covered with a black cloth walked up to him and demanded that he give up his wallet, police said.
The man with the covered face reportedly pulled out an unknown black object, police said. The victim told police that he did not believe the object was a gun. He refused to give up his wallet and walked away. The suspect then left, police said.
Then, at about 11:52 p.m. a similar incident occurred about a mile away, near the intersection of Cowper Street and Addison Avenue. The victim in this case was also a man in his 50s, police said. He was reportedly walking near the intersection when a man with a dark cloth over his face come up from behind him and demanded property, police said. The man with the cloth also had his hand in the waistband of his pants, as if he had a weapon, police said. The pedestrian ran away and, in doing so, saw the man with the black cloth enter a black SUV that traveled south on Cowper, toward Embarcadero Road.
The attempted robber in both cases was described by the victims as a Hispanic man in his 20s, about 5 feet 10 inches tall and with a medium build. Detectives are investigating whether the two robberies were committed by the same person, the news release states.
Anyone with information about the attempted robberies is asked to call the 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 voicemail to 650-383-8984. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through the department's free mobile app, downloadable at bit.ly/PAPD-AppStore or bit.ly/PAPD-GooglePlay.