Police: Woman robbed near downtown transit center

Purse-snatcher sought after Wednesday morning incident in downtown Palo Alto

Palo Alto police are seeking a man who allegedly robbed a woman of her purse near the University Avenue transit center shortly after she got off the bus early Wednesday morning.

The victim, a woman in her 50s, reported that she was walking on University Avenue, near El Camino Real, at about 3 a.m. on Wednesday morning when a man approached her from behind and grabbed her purse. Police said after a brief struggle, the man tore the purse from the woman's grasp and she fell to the ground, sustaining minor injuries. The man then ran away.

Police learned about the robbery after the woman came to the police station at around 1 p.m. to report the robbery. She described the suspect as a black male in his mid-20s. Police said no similar robberies have taken place recently in the area of the transit depot.

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

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2 people like this
Posted by PM
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 15, 2015 at 12:13 pm

Transit Center? Does that mean the Caltrain station? Never heard it called the transit center before.

11 people like this
Posted by Transit Center
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 15, 2015 at 12:25 pm

Transit Center, as a term, implies two or more forms of public transportation. In this case, it means the trains plus the buses.

The problem with transit centers is that they often attract criminals to the crowds.

8 people like this
Posted by Sad But True
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 15, 2015 at 12:34 pm

Nobody should go there after dark, when there aren't enough people around to deter crime.

1 person likes this
Posted by Slow Down
a resident of Community Center
on Oct 15, 2015 at 11:28 pm

Slow Down is a registered user.

There was another robbery just a few months ago:

Web Link

Doesn't help that the 22 bus is an unofficial homeless shelter.

4 people like this
Posted by Plane Speaker
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 16, 2015 at 1:30 am

There are a really lot of sketchy characters that hang out around the train
station / bus station in that strip of land between University down to the
Palo Alto Medical Foundation and underpass there.

Was there no one around to see this or do anything about it? Surely
this perpetrator must have been caught on numerous video camera
feeds ... can we be assured that the PAPD will have this guy soon?

4 people like this
Posted by smoking
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 16, 2015 at 9:30 am

I occasionally pick up a family member at the Caltrain station and while waiting in my car there was a guy openly smoking a joint and brazenly blowing the smoke in my direction. While I am neutral on pot - don't smoke it myself, I think it funny that this guy, who clearly looked like a transient hanging about at the entrance to the station, was doing this while I read each week in the newspaper's "police blotter" that people are regularly cited by police for smoking a cigarette outdoors somewhere in downtown Palo Alto.
I am not enthusiastic at transients hanging about in that area, as others have noted.
There are a lot of regular commuters at commute time, that is fine, however I have seen some absolutely packed trains and perhaps they need more cars added on -

4 people like this
Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 16, 2015 at 5:28 pm

Something that would help --- add additional lighting. Convert all of the orange lighting to the new bright-white LED lighting. Eliminate hiding spots.

2 people like this
Posted by Slow Down
a resident of Community Center
on Oct 16, 2015 at 10:01 pm

Slow Down is a registered user.

@Crescent Park Dad - and cameras

3 people like this
Posted by Mass transit Mass crime
a resident of another community
on Oct 16, 2015 at 10:18 pm

Mass transit, easy communication - of disease. And one "acccident" or terrorist act can bring the transit to a halt. Mass transit is mass suicide.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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