News

Two men rob woman at gunpoint, flee in sedan

Duo steals backpack and credit cards, among other items, at downtown train station

A southbound Caltrain train arrives at the downtown Palo Alto station on July 24, 2019. Photo by Veronica Weber.

A woman was robbed at gunpoint by two men while she stood near the platform at the downtown Palo Alto train station on Tuesday afternoon, police said.

The woman, who's in her 20s, reported the robbery to the city's emergency dispatch center moments after it happened around 4:15 p.m., police said in a press release. Officers responded to the center at 95 University Ave. where they were unable to locate the men.

A police investigation found that the woman was standing near the train platform, in the area of the bus turnaround, where she was confronted by two men, one of whom raised a black handgun in her direction, police said. The men took her backpack, credit cards, portable charger and the Nike tennis shoes that she was wearing.

A woman in her 80s saw the robbery in progress and attempted to help the young woman but stopped when one of the men aimed the weapon at her, according to police.

The men fled in a white four-door Nissan sedan and haven't been located by police as of Tuesday evening. Each man was about 25 years old and wore a black shirt and face covering. The vehicle was last seen heading towards University Circle, police said.

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Neither woman was injured in the robbery. The city hasn't seen similar robberies at the city's transit stations recently, according to police.

Anyone with information about Tuesday's robbery is asked to call the department's 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to [email protected] 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.

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Two men rob woman at gunpoint, flee in sedan

Duo steals backpack and credit cards, among other items, at downtown train station

by Palo Alto Weekly staff / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Tue, Dec 21, 2021, 7:43 pm

A woman was robbed at gunpoint by two men while she stood near the platform at the downtown Palo Alto train station on Tuesday afternoon, police said.

The woman, who's in her 20s, reported the robbery to the city's emergency dispatch center moments after it happened around 4:15 p.m., police said in a press release. Officers responded to the center at 95 University Ave. where they were unable to locate the men.

A police investigation found that the woman was standing near the train platform, in the area of the bus turnaround, where she was confronted by two men, one of whom raised a black handgun in her direction, police said. The men took her backpack, credit cards, portable charger and the Nike tennis shoes that she was wearing.

A woman in her 80s saw the robbery in progress and attempted to help the young woman but stopped when one of the men aimed the weapon at her, according to police.

The men fled in a white four-door Nissan sedan and haven't been located by police as of Tuesday evening. Each man was about 25 years old and wore a black shirt and face covering. The vehicle was last seen heading towards University Circle, police said.

Neither woman was injured in the robbery. The city hasn't seen similar robberies at the city's transit stations recently, according to police.

Anyone with information about Tuesday's robbery is asked to call the department's 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to [email protected] 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.

Comments

Resident
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Dec 21, 2021 at 11:49 pm
Resident, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Dec 21, 2021 at 11:49 pm
Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Dec 22, 2021 at 3:15 am
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Dec 22, 2021 at 3:15 am

The police report stated, "The suspects then ran to a white four-door Nissan sedan, which was last seen heading towards University Circle. Neither victim was physically injured.

The victim described the suspects as two Hispanic males, each about 25 years old and wearing black shirts and face coverings."

Why the editing of the police release? How is is the public supposed to help provide information?


Jennifer
Registered user
another community
on Dec 22, 2021 at 10:14 am
Jennifer, another community
Registered user
on Dec 22, 2021 at 10:14 am

Most American newspapers don't print the race of the suspect(s). The police don't like it, but the push started in the late 80s. As long as the public has access to the police report, the general public can read what we read, and newspapers have the right (like any business) to call their own shots. Two Hispanic males in their mid 20s hardly narrows it down. Stay safe!


Wyn
Registered user
Atherton
on Dec 22, 2021 at 11:00 am
Wyn, Atherton
Registered user
on Dec 22, 2021 at 11:00 am

By that reasoning "male" or "female" wouldn't really narrow it down significantly either.


Jennifer
Registered user
another community
on Dec 22, 2021 at 12:37 pm
Jennifer, another community
Registered user
on Dec 22, 2021 at 12:37 pm

Male or female doesn't narrow it down. That's why it's no big deal. Unless you have age, height, weight, race, gender, etc. Even then descriptions aren't always accurate. Let police and media follow protocol.


Carla
Registered user
Charleston Gardens
on Dec 22, 2021 at 1:44 pm
Carla, Charleston Gardens
Registered user
on Dec 22, 2021 at 1:44 pm

It can lead to wrong conclusions.

Yesterday I heard a cashier wishing some Indian people a "Feliz Navidad" at Costco. The Indian family just laughed.


Jocelyn Dong
Registered user
editor of the Palo Alto Weekly
on Dec 22, 2021 at 3:14 pm
Jocelyn Dong, editor of the Palo Alto Weekly
Registered user
on Dec 22, 2021 at 3:14 pm

Hi @Online Name and hello @Jennifer. Thanks for your question and your helpful response. Palo Alto Online doesn't publish the racial identity of suspects when the police description is not detailed. As it is, "mid-20s, black shirts and face coverings" casts a pretty wide net that may not be helpful in the investigation.
Our policy aligns with that of the Associated Press, which provides standards for the industry.


Screeedek
Registered user
Stanford
on Dec 22, 2021 at 3:32 pm
Screeedek, Stanford
Registered user
on Dec 22, 2021 at 3:32 pm

They are getting more brazen by the day. This needs to be dealt with. Eventually an innocent citizen is going to be shot dead in one of these Palo Alto robberies. It is just a matter of time.


Fritzie Blue
Registered user
Stanford
on Dec 22, 2021 at 8:28 pm
Fritzie Blue, Stanford
Registered user
on Dec 22, 2021 at 8:28 pm

"A woman in her 80s" attempted to help the young woman. The best and worst of humanity on display on that train platform today.


Mark
Registered user
Menlo Park
on Dec 23, 2021 at 6:58 am
Mark, Menlo Park
Registered user
on Dec 23, 2021 at 6:58 am

Right. We need social workers with counseling skills instead of law enforcement, so victims can be consoled instead of protected.


Annette
Registered user
College Terrace
on Dec 23, 2021 at 7:15 am
Annette, College Terrace
Registered user
on Dec 23, 2021 at 7:15 am

Fritzie Blue: I agree wholeheartedly. That 80 year old woman puts the thugs to shame.

As for the police, I know they cannot be everywhere but if the stories in the press are a good indication, the current level of presence is inadequate. There just might be a connection between the state's $30 BILLION surplus and the uptick in crime. Serious social problems (hunger, homelessness, crime) are increasing while "Sacramento" is amassing billions. There's a lot wrong with that picture. Every tax payer should be appalled by this mismanagement of public funds. Message to Gavin: put politics aside and start spending those dollars on society NOW.


Online Name
Registered user
Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Dec 23, 2021 at 8:49 am
Online Name, Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
Registered user
on Dec 23, 2021 at 8:49 am

Totally agree with Fritzie Blue and Annette.

Also the posts on NextDoor and what we hear from personally friends and acquaintances about the increase in brazen crimes, sometimes with photos of criminals that never make the police blotter reports or make the news.

I'm still waiting for the report on the auto accident that incapacitated one of our elected officials two weeks ago. Ironically, it happened near where another never-reported car wreck happened a year or two ago where there were photos and lengthy discussions of whether that accident involved 2, 3 or 4 cars and at what point such accidents finally get publicized.


S. Underwood
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Dec 23, 2021 at 5:53 pm
S. Underwood, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Dec 23, 2021 at 5:53 pm

Economics of Journalism 101: This paper (and most other local papers) make their money selling real estate ads. The rest of the syllogism is left to the reader as an exercise.


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