News

Elderly woman accosted by robbers in roadside attack

Duo attempted to take wedding ring off victim's finger as she walked along Channing Avenue

Two people attempted to rob an elderly Palo Alto woman of her wedding ring on Saturday afternoon, causing her injuries, Palo Alto police said in a press release.

The woman, who is in her 80s and was using a walker, was in the 700 block of Channing Avenue at about 4:15 p.m. when a large, black four-door sedan pulled up beside her. A female passenger asked the woman for directions to a grocery store before getting out of the car to continue the conversation. She told the victim that she resembled her mother and wanted to give her a piece of her mother’s jewelry. The woman took the victim’s hand off the walker and slipped a bracelet onto her wrist.

The woman then tried to pull the victim's wedding ring off her finger, but it would not easily come off, even when she pulled hard. The woman got back into the car, driven by a man, and they fled eastbound on Channing Avenue at a high rate of speed.

The victim suffered minor physical injuries. Because she didn't have a cell phone with her, she continued on her walk and later told a family member about the incident. The family member called the police.

Two of the victim's fingers were bruised during the attempted robbery. She described the woman as an adult with dark black hair in a bun and about 5 feet, 4 inches tall. She had a medium complexion.

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The driver was a man with dark hair and a dark mustache. There have been no similar cases recently in Palo Alto, police said. In October 2021, however, a similar roadside scam occurred during which two necklaces were stolen from an elderly female victim's neck. The October case remains unsolved, with no suspects identified.

Detectives are investigating to see if there is any connection between the two cases, or any other similar crimes in other cities.

Police recommend to always remain aware of one's surroundings and to be cautious if approached by the occupants of an unfamiliar vehicle. Maintain a safe distance from any unfamiliar, unoccupied vehicle, they said. They ask that victims or witnesses promptly report suspicious behavior or crimes to the police by calling the 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413, or 911 if it is an emergency.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the dispatch center. Anonymous tips can be e-mailed to [email protected] or sent by text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984.

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Sue Dremann is a veteran journalist who joined the Palo Alto Weekly in 2001. She is a breaking news and general assignment reporter who also covers the regional environmental, health and crime beats. Read more >>

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Elderly woman accosted by robbers in roadside attack

Duo attempted to take wedding ring off victim's finger as she walked along Channing Avenue

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Mon, May 16, 2022, 9:54 am

Two people attempted to rob an elderly Palo Alto woman of her wedding ring on Saturday afternoon, causing her injuries, Palo Alto police said in a press release.

The woman, who is in her 80s and was using a walker, was in the 700 block of Channing Avenue at about 4:15 p.m. when a large, black four-door sedan pulled up beside her. A female passenger asked the woman for directions to a grocery store before getting out of the car to continue the conversation. She told the victim that she resembled her mother and wanted to give her a piece of her mother’s jewelry. The woman took the victim’s hand off the walker and slipped a bracelet onto her wrist.

The woman then tried to pull the victim's wedding ring off her finger, but it would not easily come off, even when she pulled hard. The woman got back into the car, driven by a man, and they fled eastbound on Channing Avenue at a high rate of speed.

The victim suffered minor physical injuries. Because she didn't have a cell phone with her, she continued on her walk and later told a family member about the incident. The family member called the police.

Two of the victim's fingers were bruised during the attempted robbery. She described the woman as an adult with dark black hair in a bun and about 5 feet, 4 inches tall. She had a medium complexion.

The driver was a man with dark hair and a dark mustache. There have been no similar cases recently in Palo Alto, police said. In October 2021, however, a similar roadside scam occurred during which two necklaces were stolen from an elderly female victim's neck. The October case remains unsolved, with no suspects identified.

Detectives are investigating to see if there is any connection between the two cases, or any other similar crimes in other cities.

Police recommend to always remain aware of one's surroundings and to be cautious if approached by the occupants of an unfamiliar vehicle. Maintain a safe distance from any unfamiliar, unoccupied vehicle, they said. They ask that victims or witnesses promptly report suspicious behavior or crimes to the police by calling the 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413, or 911 if it is an emergency.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the dispatch center. Anonymous tips can be e-mailed to [email protected] or sent by text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984.

Comments

vmshadle
Registered user
Meadow Park
on May 16, 2022 at 11:39 am
vmshadle, Meadow Park
Registered user
on May 16, 2022 at 11:39 am

Wow. Preying on a frail elderly person and trying to steal an item likely far more valuable in personal than cash terms. Appalling and disgraceful. (The rest of my reactions are not printable in a family newspaper.)

I hope this woman sustains no permanent physical or emotional/mental damage from this assault.


Anonymous
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 16, 2022 at 12:41 pm
Anonymous, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on May 16, 2022 at 12:41 pm

This deserves a LOT of attention! This despicable crime is the latest in a string of criminal thuggery affecting Palo Alto, the SF Bay Area and portions of the state of California.
Contact your political representatives to state it’s time to get tough on criminals and protect the general public. We are in an era of unprecedented risk to Public Safety. Patrols, arrests, charging, active prosecution must occur.
Stop the idiotic “no bail” scheme.


WhatAboutme
Registered user
Midtown
on May 16, 2022 at 1:29 pm
WhatAboutme, Midtown
Registered user
on May 16, 2022 at 1:29 pm

Horrible!
Yes, it happens and I hope ppl notify their neighbors/twitter:

See link: San Jose/San Ramon in February:

Web Link

"This is a part of a large group, stemming from the Eastern European area. In our city, the target demographic were the elderly and it was people of South Asian descent."

Dozens of primarily Asian Americans, reached out to ABC7 News on social media, warning their loved ones had been victimized as well. Reports came in from Union City, South San Francisco, San Francisco and other parts of the Bay Area.

82-year-old San Jose woman swindled of expensive necklace in her own driveway
Police say older Asians are being targeted, and that they need to be especially cautious during the time of the Lunar New Year.

2/2022:
SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- A crime ring sweeping California is targeting seniors, often Asian Americans, for thousands of dollars in jewelry. In many cases, the victims don't even realize what's happening, the crimes happen so fast.

"They'll come up to them, engage them in a convo that's very friendly and take cheap costume jewelry or a bracelet/necklace and say 'we want you to have this,'" says Capitan Denton Carlson with the San Ramon Police Department.

It's the same "slight of hand" crime targeting seniors in many parts of the Bay Area, Southern California and Sacramento area.

Video from a man named Chris Luu shows his 82-year-old mother in the front yard of her San Jose home. She's flagged over by a woman in an SUV who says some words to her, gets close and suddenly her gold chain is gone. Video shows the woman walk away, slightly confused at what just happened.
Capitan Carlson explains the crime.

"They'll slip the jewelry on the unsuspecting victim and at the same time they're engaging, they'll take it back and remove the victim's valuable jewelry."


Erin Hubbell
Registered user
Mountain View
on May 16, 2022 at 2:41 pm
Erin Hubbell, Mountain View
Registered user
on May 16, 2022 at 2:41 pm

A similar 'bait & steal' operation was reported by customers in the parking lot of the Grant Road Plaza in Mountain View awhile back.

Two white males were driving around slowly in a late model pickup truck and offering people an opportunity to buy solid 18K gold 'imported European' jewelry at 60% below ordinary retail.

When one prospective customer threatened to contact the police, they departed quickly and were never seen again in the area.

As noted in Whataboutme's San Jose/San Ramon suspect description, we later learned that there were recent reports of Romani swindlers operating in the area.


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