News

Midtown resident robbed at gunpoint after online meetup goes awry

Police: Armed man took off with laptop, cash

A Midtown resident who invited a woman he met online into his home early Thursday morning was robbed at gunpoint minutes later by a man believed to be her accomplice, Palo Alto police said.

Palo Alto police are looking for a man and a woman who allegedly stole cash and a laptop from his home on April 7, 2022. Courtesy Getty Images.

The robbery occurred shortly after 1 a.m. on Thursday in the 700 block of Sutter Avenue, just off of Middlefield Road, according to a police news release. The resident, who's in his 30s, reportedly called the police at about 1:30 a.m. to report that someone had just robbed him of his laptop and thousands of dollars in cash.

A police investigation revealed that the man met a woman online and invited her to his home at about 1 a.m. Shortly after she came to the residence, the man heard a knock at his door. When he opened the door, a man brandishing a silver handgun entered the house and took a laptop computer and an envelope containing several thousand dollars. The armed man and the woman then left together, according to the police.

The resident could not say whether they left in the same car, which direction they fled to or which vehicle or vehicles they used.

Police believe the armed man and the woman were working in concert, the news release states. There have been no similar incidents reported recently in Palo Alto, according to the police.

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Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the Police Department's 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to [email protected] or sent via text message or voicemail to 650-383-8984.

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Gennady Sheyner
 
Gennady Sheyner covers the City Hall beat in Palo Alto as well as regional politics, with a special focus on housing and transportation. Before joining the Palo Alto Weekly/PaloAltoOnline.com in 2008, he covered breaking news and local politics for the Waterbury Republican-American, a daily newspaper in Connecticut. Read more >>

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Midtown resident robbed at gunpoint after online meetup goes awry

Police: Armed man took off with laptop, cash

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Thu, Apr 7, 2022, 1:22 pm

A Midtown resident who invited a woman he met online into his home early Thursday morning was robbed at gunpoint minutes later by a man believed to be her accomplice, Palo Alto police said.

The robbery occurred shortly after 1 a.m. on Thursday in the 700 block of Sutter Avenue, just off of Middlefield Road, according to a police news release. The resident, who's in his 30s, reportedly called the police at about 1:30 a.m. to report that someone had just robbed him of his laptop and thousands of dollars in cash.

A police investigation revealed that the man met a woman online and invited her to his home at about 1 a.m. Shortly after she came to the residence, the man heard a knock at his door. When he opened the door, a man brandishing a silver handgun entered the house and took a laptop computer and an envelope containing several thousand dollars. The armed man and the woman then left together, according to the police.

The resident could not say whether they left in the same car, which direction they fled to or which vehicle or vehicles they used.

Police believe the armed man and the woman were working in concert, the news release states. There have been no similar incidents reported recently in Palo Alto, according to the police.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the Police Department's 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to [email protected] or sent via text message or voicemail to 650-383-8984.

Comments

Bystander
Registered user
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 7, 2022 at 1:31 pm
Bystander, Another Palo Alto neighborhood
Registered user
on Apr 7, 2022 at 1:31 pm

Do people actually invite someone they have just met on the internet into their home? Do people actually go into the home of someone they have just met on the internet?

This shows exactly why not!


Donald
Registered user
South of Midtown
on Apr 7, 2022 at 2:52 pm
Donald, South of Midtown
Registered user
on Apr 7, 2022 at 2:52 pm

They swiped and left. The victim should have swiped left.


Mondoman
Registered user
Green Acres
on Apr 7, 2022 at 3:48 pm
Mondoman, Green Acres
Registered user
on Apr 7, 2022 at 3:48 pm

This may have been a case of purchasing "services" or "goods" online for delivery *in* the home.


Hulkamania
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 7, 2022 at 4:29 pm
Hulkamania, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on Apr 7, 2022 at 4:29 pm

The old way of meeting someone is better. In a bar, face to face, drunk. Today, of course, you need to be wary of someone spiking your drink.


Jennifer
Registered user
another community
on Apr 7, 2022 at 6:47 pm
Jennifer, another community
Registered user
on Apr 7, 2022 at 6:47 pm

Unless he hired a "lady of the night" a woman willing to show up at 1:00 a.m. on a weeknight at a stranger's home -- someone she met on the internet is a red flag. An envelope with several thousand dollars cash? Was that the "fee," or does he leave that much cash in the home?


NeilsonBuchanan
Registered user
Downtown North
on Apr 8, 2022 at 10:41 am
NeilsonBuchanan, Downtown North
Registered user
on Apr 8, 2022 at 10:41 am

This outcome was well within the range of possibilities. Thankfully no physical harm except bruised egos? According to the internet, there is an 400+ year old saying that " A fool and his money are soon parted."


Annette
Registered user
College Terrace
on Apr 8, 2022 at 11:17 am
Annette, College Terrace
Registered user
on Apr 8, 2022 at 11:17 am

This is one of those stories that causes whiplash. Why not suffer the loss in silence instead of exposing yourself as having done the inexplicable?


jhskrh
Registered user
Community Center
on Apr 8, 2022 at 12:51 pm
jhskrh, Community Center
Registered user
on Apr 8, 2022 at 12:51 pm

Seriously now, "a man met a woman online and invited her to his home at about 1 a.m" Do you think they were planning to watch a movie? To discuss politics? I feel no sympathy for this guy, no repercussions for him, but the woman will do time if caught, even though she is the real victim (and likely will do much more time than Lizzy Holmes) And then there's this "Police believe the armed man and the woman were working in concert" Now that is some serious sleuthing. Book em Danno!


MyFeelz
Registered user
another community
on Apr 10, 2022 at 4:05 pm
MyFeelz, another community
Registered user
on Apr 10, 2022 at 4:05 pm

I think, though I'm not sure, if you get robbed at home your homeowner's insurance will cover you, but you have to submit a police report to get reimbursed for your losses. If that's the case, I'm not even sure if the insurance will cover you because you invited the "guest" into your home. Either way you have to file a police report to start your claim. As for an envelope just sitting around for the crook to see it and grab it, is unlikely. But a prostitute would definitely want to see that you are ready to pay for the service you asked for. I'm sure the complainant is fully cooperating with the police and turned over the online communications file to explain why he invited someone to come to his house at 1 AM.


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