Palo Alto police are investigating an incident from Monday morning where two suspects stole a cell phone from a victim’s hand as they ran past her on a sidewalk, then jumped into a getaway car and fled. The victim was not physically injured. The suspects are unknown and at large.
On Monday, March 14, 2022, at about 9:41 a.m., the Palo Alto 24-hour dispatch center received a call from a woman in her forties who reported that her cell phone had just been stolen by two suspects who ran past her in the 2000 block of Webster Street. The victim said the suspects had gotten in a car parked nearby, and that the vehicle had left the area. Police responded immediately but did not locate the suspects or their vehicle.
The investigation revealed that the victim had been walking on the sidewalk, talking on her cell phone. She noticed two males were walking behind her for about two minutes, before she heard running footsteps. As the suspects ran past her, one of the grabbed the cell phone out of her hand. They ran across the street to a white four-door sedan that had been parked around the corner and got into the passenger side of the car. The victim last saw the vehicle driving westbound on Santa Rita Avenue. The victim ran back to her nearby home and called the police.
The victim described the suspects as males in their teens, both about 5 feet 9 inches tall. One wore a red hooded sweatshirt with white lettering on it, and the other wore a black hooded sweatshirt. Both suspects wore face coverings. The victim did not see the driver of the getaway vehicle, nor could she describe the vehicle further.
Police are actively investigating this incident, including if there is any connection to an armed robbery that occurred at 1:00 a.m. on March 15 on University Avenue. To learn more about that incident, read the news release about it here. At this time, detectives have no evidence directly connecting the two cases and believe it is possible they are not related to one another.