Palo Alto Police Arrest Woman for Stealing Amazon Van

PALO ALTO  After a woman stole an unoccupied Amazon delivery van in Palo Alto last Thursday afternoon, police tracked the vehicle to San Jose, arrested her, and recovered the stolen van.

On Thursday, February 22, 2024, at about 3:35 p.m., the Palo Alto 24-hour dispatch center received a call from an Amazon delivery driver stating that an unknown suspect had just stolen his delivery van, laden with packages, from the 400 block of West Charleston Road.

The investigation revealed that the driver, a man in his thirties, had parked the vehicle (a gray 2020 Ford van) eastbound in the 400 block of West Charleston Road while he hopped out to make a delivery.  He left the keys in the ignition and the engine running.  As he returned from making the delivery a short time later, he saw the van driving away.  He watched it make a U-turn on West Charleston Road and then head southbound on El Camino Real.

Detectives coordinated with Amazon dispatchers, who were able to live-track the stolen vehicle.  Detectives responded to intercept the van and located the suspect getting out of it after she had parked at an Amazon facility in the 900 block of McLaughlin Avenue in San Jose.  Detectives detained the suspect without incident.  All packages were accounted for.  The suspect was not an Amazon employee and told police she had just needed to get back to San Jose.

Detectives booked 36-year-old Elena Flores of San Jose into the Santa Clara County Main Jail for vehicle theft (a felony), and for committing a felony while out on bail for a felony (also a felony).  Her booking photo appears above.