Women fleeing from Stanford Shopping Center with $5K worth of merchandise arrested | News | Palo Alto Online |


Women fleeing from Stanford Shopping Center with $5K worth of merchandise arrested

Group allegedly planned to sell clothing, shoes from Macy's, other retailers

Four women seen with arms full of clothing and shoes from the Macy's department store at Stanford Shopping Center were arrested Sunday after officers found them with nearly $5,000 worth of merchandise stolen from various retailers, according to the Palo Alto Police Department.

Around 3:50 p.m., police dispatch received a call from a shopper who witnessed a grab-and-run theft at the store located at 180 El Camino Real, according to a press release issued Monday.

The shopper recorded four women with arms full of merchandise and followed the group until one of the women, later identified as a 19-year-old from East Palo Alto, became agitated and allegedly assaulted the witness, kicking her in the buttocks, police said. The shopper, who did not sustain any injuries, continued to follow the four women into the parking lot until the group fled in a vehicle and called the police.

Responding officers located the car using the descriptions provided by the shopper, and stopped the four women at University Avenue and Donohoe Street in East Palo Alto by Amazon's campus.

Police found stolen clothing inside the vehicle and dropped around various locations near the shopping center. They estimated more than $5,000 worth of merchandise was stolen from Macy's and other stores, police spokeswoman Janine De la Vega said.

Upon reviewing evidence and conducting interviews, investigators determined the four women planned to steal from the shopping center and sell the merchandise, according to the press release. Police are also investigating to see if they are connected to similar thefts.

All four women were booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail on suspicion of three felonies: organized retail theft, grand theft and possession of stolen property. Two of the women, ages 28 and 19, were from Antioch and the other two women were both 19-year-old East Palo Alto residents. The 19-year-old East Palo Alto woman who allegedly kicked the shopper was also arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor battery.

De la Vega recommends anyone who witnesses a theft should make observations by taking down details such as clothing, hair color and license plate number, among other details, then call the police.

The Stanford Shopping Center Security could not immediately provide comment to the Weekly on Monday afternoon.

Editor's note: The Weekly's policy is to withhold the names of those arrested for most crimes until the District Attorney has determined there is sufficient evidence to file charges in the case. See our guidelines here.


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Like this comment
Posted by 2nd hand witness
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jan 13, 2020 at 6:49 pm

this type of theft occurs all the time. my question is how did the witness know a theft was occurring? did the witness know for a fact that the merchandise was not paid for? how did witness know a crime was being committed? just because a group of female shoppers are taking merchandise outside of a department store doesn't imply a theft in my opinion.

Like this comment
Posted by Red
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jan 13, 2020 at 7:31 pm

Maybe the witnessed noticed there’s strange abnormal behavior not a kin to mow shoppers in the area

6 people like this
Posted by Tex
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 13, 2020 at 8:07 pm

[Post removed.]

20 people like this
Posted by I want free clothing
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Jan 13, 2020 at 8:20 pm

[Post removed.]

3 people like this
Posted by Tex
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Jan 13, 2020 at 8:53 pm

[Post removed.]

55 people like this
Posted by Common Sense
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jan 13, 2020 at 9:01 pm

Some possible hints that a group of women are stealing from a store:
1. They are seen rapidly gathering large quantities of merchandise without trying on any of it.
2 They haven’t gone to the checkout to pay for any of it.
3. They don’t have Macy’s shopping bags with the merchandise in it as they exit the door. (OK — maybe they are environmentally conscious?)
4. They are running out the door with armloads of merchandise.
5. For good measure: They kick you in the buttocks.

3 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jan 13, 2020 at 10:57 pm

^ Sounds like a Jeff Foxworthy routine. "If you ..., you might be a shoplifter."

Like this comment
Posted by john
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 14, 2020 at 9:14 am

[Post removed.]

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