Palo Alto police are asking for the community's assistance in locating two men for a strong-arm robbery that injured a woman at the Stanford Shopping Center over the weekend.
On Sunday, shortly before 4 p.m., a woman in her 30s was sitting outside McDonald's when one of the men walked toward her and grabbed her purse on the table, according to a press release issued Tuesday morning. She held onto the purse as she was pulled about 10 feet and fell on a concrete walkway.
Two shoppers in the vicinity witnessed the incident and heard the woman yelling. They responded by going after the men who ran toward the parking garage. One of the men fell after he ran into a parked car, dropping the purse in the process, police said.
The witness was able to grab hold of the purse and returned it to the woman, who suffered an abrasion to her knee from the fall but declined medical treatment, according to police.
The two men continued to flee the scene and are still at large as of Tuesday morning.
The person who briefly fled with the woman's purse was described as a light-skinned black male in his late teens to early 20s, with a thin to medium build. He wore a black hooded sweatshirt with "FILA" written across the chest, gray shorts and white tennis shoes.
The second person was described as a Hispanic male in his late teens to early 20s wearing a white T-shirt, gray sweatpants and black tennis shoes.
An investigation is ongoing, but the police department does not believe the robbery is related to previous robbery attempts from this year. With the holiday shopping season fast approaching, the department has advised residents to monitor their personal belongings and not leave valuables unattended or in an unoccupied vehicle.
Anyone with information about this incident 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 by text message or voicemail to 650-383-8984. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through the police's free mobile app, downloadable at bit.ly/PAPD-AppStore or bit.ly/PAPD-GooglePlay.