Palo Alto police are looking for a man who allegedly ripped a purse off a woman's shoulder at Stanford Shopping Center on Saturday evening and then fled the scene in an awaiting vehicle.
The victim, a woman in her 40s, was reportedly walking alone to her parked car on the first floor of the shopping center's garage when a vehicle pulled up next to her, police said. A man wearing a hood pulled tight around his face stepped out of the passenger seat and allegedly grabbed the purse off her shoulder. The woman tried to hang on to the strap of the purse but the man ripped it away and returned to the vehicle, which then proceeded south through the garage and toward Quarry Road.
Officers responded immediately after getting the call about the incident at 6:21 p.m. but the suspect fled the area before they got there, police said in a statement.
The victim, who wasn't hurt, described the purse-snatcher as a Hispanic male in his 20s or 30s. He was reportedly wearing a dark hoody and dark pants. The car was also described as dark. While the victim said it was a small coupe or sedan, another witness described it as a sport utility vehicle.
In addition to the suspect, there were reportedly three other people in the car: two men and a woman who was sitting in the back seat. All were described as Hispanic and of similar age to the suspect, police said.
The woman's purse contained her wallet but not her cell phone, police said.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the Police Department's 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be e-mailed to email@example.com or sent via text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through the department's free mobile app, downloadable at bit.ly/PAPD-AppStore or bit.ly/PAPD-GooglePlay.