Woman's phone snatched while she was talking on it at Stanford Shopping Center | News | Palo Alto Online |


Woman's phone snatched while she was talking on it at Stanford Shopping Center

Police said teens approached woman from behind and ran off on Saturday night

Palo Alto police are looking for two teenagers who they say robbed a woman outside Stanford Shopping Center on Saturday night, according to a police news release.

Police received a call at about 7:24 p.m. on Saturday about a strong-arm robbery that had just occurred at the shopping center, according to the news release. The woman, who is in her 30s, was talking on her cell phone on the east side of Stanford Shopping Center when the two male teenagers came up from behind. One of them allegedly grabbed the phone out of her hand before both ran off toward El Camino Park, police said.

The woman chased them down Sand Hill Road and into the park before flagging someone nearby to call 9-1-1, according to the news release. Police worked with the woman to track her phone, which they found discarded in the park along with a case containing her ID and credit card, police said.

The woman described the two people who robbed her as between the 15 and 16 years old. Both are male and both are about 5 feet 7 inches tall with thin builds. Both wore black hooded sweatshirts and dark sagging jeans, according to the news release.

Police said they do not believe this robbery is related to any other recent incidents. They are working to see if video surveillance footage is available that could help identify the two males.

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 e-mailed to paloalto@tipnow.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.


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26 people like this
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 5, 2019 at 8:54 pm

Is this the BEST description of the suspects? Was the victim unaware of the race or ethnic background of these teenagers?

5 people like this
Posted by Kenny
a resident of University South
on Nov 5, 2019 at 9:04 pm

If they just grabbed the phone and ran, she might not have gotten a good look at their faces. It would have already been dark at 7:40. It might not really matter as far as catching them, as they took a GPS-enabled tracking device. Assuming, of course, that it either came with a tracking app or she added one. She should be able to go onto her computer and pinpoint the phone's location to within a few meters.

23 people like this
Posted by Historian
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 5, 2019 at 10:15 pm

@ Nayeli: Have you missed Palo Alto liberal verbage? Law enforcement or anyone who mentions race or ethnicity is branded a racist.

PAPD news release mentioned this:

"The female victim chased the suspects to Sand Hill Road and into El Camino Park located at 155 El Camino Real. She stopped when realizing it was not safe. The victim flagged down someone nearby to call 9-1-1. Officers arrived and worked with the victim to track the phone. Police recovered and returned all of the victim’s property which included her phone and case containing her ID and credit card. The items had been discarded in the park. The victim did not sustain any injuries."

7 people like this
Posted by Jerry
a resident of JLS Middle School
on Nov 6, 2019 at 12:16 am

The Grand Theft Auto generation is all grown up. Parent keep your kids away from the video games displaying violence.

11 people like this
Posted by Take their picture always
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Nov 6, 2019 at 5:27 am

When you notice peole walking around these shopping centers that just don;t look right, hiding identities in dark clothing and oversized hoodies, take their picture!

There is nothing illegal or racist about taking someone's picture in public (be sure to get their faces). Then when you see stories like this, you can offer them up: "Is it these guys?"

Without words, simply take a picture of thuggy looking people, because eventually stories like this will come out and pics will help fin them.

Cockroaches hate the light of day. Lets turn the lights on brightly before they get near.

1 person likes this
Posted by Possible Motive
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 6, 2019 at 11:07 am

Possible Motive is a registered user.

Since the thieves did not keep the phone/IDs/creditcard and tossed them, I'm wondering if this was more along the lines of some kind of gang initiation? Would be interesting to hear what PAPD thinks.

8 people like this
Posted by James Hall, subscriber
a resident of another community
on Nov 6, 2019 at 12:11 pm

I would love to know how a photo of an "ethnic background" is going to help the police. Perhaps code words don't really work. If it was a fat old lady or a thin young man that might help. Racism and racist "identities" are the termites devouring our attempt at a rational and just society. We are all supposed to carry cameras in public. Gonna be lot of arguments doing that!

Maybe a requirement that all young men who are "thuggy" should have to wear a yellow star on their clothes? Or perhaps bigots should all be wearing badges?

5 people like this
Posted by KJH
a resident of Stanford
on Nov 6, 2019 at 3:09 pm

KJH is a registered user.

I would be extremely upset if someone took a picture of me without my permission. Who is to say whether I look like a thug or suspicious or like I don't belong in the neighborhood?? Come on, you guys!!!

Like this comment
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 6, 2019 at 3:32 pm

Posted by KJH, a resident of Stanford

>> Who is to say whether I look like a thug or suspicious or like I don't belong in the neighborhood??

I think it is people who look like this that they are worried about: Web Link

6 people like this
Posted by Pied Piper
a resident of Gunn High School
on Nov 6, 2019 at 4:32 pm

Pied Piper is a registered user.

@Historian Thanks for sharing your jaded view. Contrary to your assertion, PAPD does include racial features in descriptions of perps and I haven't seen them branded as racist for it.
So please stop with the false propaganda. There's quite enough of that out there these days -- and mostly not from liberals.

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