Two Women Robbed at Stanford Shopping Center

Palo Alto Police are investigating an armed robbery that occurred last week at the Stanford Shopping Center, where the suspect took purses from two women dining together.  There were no physical injuries and the suspect remains at large.

On Tuesday, January 18, 2022, at about 2:47 p.m., police dispatch received a call reporting an armed robbery that had just occurred at the Stanford Shopping Center at 180 El Camino Real.  An initial report indicated that the suspect had fired a shot into the air before fleeing the scene.  Officers responded immediately.

The investigation revealed that the victims, a woman in her seventies and another in her eighties, were having lunch together outside at True Food Kitchen.  The suspect approached them, displayed a black handgun, and demanded their purses.  The victims complied, and the suspect took both purses.  The victims reported hearing a “pop” or “click” noise come from the gun.  As other witnesses reported seeing an orange color on the gun (including possibly at its tip), police believe it is possible the weapon was a replica handgun.  Police did not locate any projectile or damage from a projectile at the scene.  Neither victim sustained physical injuries.  The suspect was last seen on a bicycle riding northbound towards Sand Hill Road.

Witnesses described the suspect as a Polynesian male in his late teens or early twenties with short curly hair, about six feet tall with average build.  He was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt with red lettering, black pants, red shoes, and a face covering.  He was riding a blue bicycle.  At this time, police do not believe a sketch will be forthcoming.  A surveillance image of the suspect is seen above.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call our 24-hour dispatch center at (650) 329-2413.  Anonymous tips can be e-mailed to or sent via text message or voice mail to (650) 383-8984.