Armed robbery reported downtown

Police: there have been no other similar robberies recently

Palo Alto police are looking for a man who, armed with a gun, allegedly stole a woman's cellphone downtown late Friday night.

The woman, who is in her 20s, told police that she was sitting in her parked car with the engine running while looking at her cellphone at about 10:58 p.m. in the 400 block of Cowper Street. A man walked up to the driver's side window, pointed the gun at her and demanded that she give him money, police said in a press release. She gave him her phone instead, and he reportedly ran away south on Cowper Street toward University Avenue.

The woman then flagged down a passing police officer to report the robbery.

She described the suspect as a black or Hispanic man of an unknown age with an average build, wearing a red zippered sweatshirt with the hood pulled over his head, according to police. He did not speak with an accent. The woman described the gun as being a silver handgun.

Since she was not able to get a clear look at the man's face, police said they will not be producing a suspect sketch.

There have been no other similar robberies in Palo Alto recently, 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 emailed to 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 or


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10 people like this
Posted by @PAFreePress
a resident of another community
on Nov 12, 2017 at 10:10 am

“She described the suspect as a black or Hispanic man of an unknown age’ and yet the Palo Alto police is unable or unwilling to produce a sketch? That’s a poor excuse... Hispanic and African American are now placed on notice. Especially if thier wearing a ‘“do rag’ Web Link [Portion removed.]

36 people like this
Posted by Paly resident
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Nov 12, 2017 at 10:31 am

Can’t just tell the public that some guy robbed her without description. And she was likely petrified and it was dark so any sketch would be inaccurate anyway. Remember how off-base the Unibomber sketch was? Probably not, you are probably too young.

Palo Alto Online is biased towards liberal postings but that’s not good enough for some. So typical. It’s always a no-win with you guys.

30 people like this
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 12, 2017 at 10:48 am

Does anyone know where we can find the crime stats for Palo Alto? Do they break such things down by race, gender and ethnicity -- or whether the perpetrators are residents of the city or come from outside of the community (and where)?

15 people like this
Posted by @PAFreePress
a resident of another community
on Nov 12, 2017 at 11:47 am

Nayeli, Palo Alto police website on crime stats. We’ll let your own fingers do the exploring rather that point out the way... Race and gender. City council put the brakes on that one... Claiming budgetary constraints. But in reality, it was a cover-up to hide disproportionate profiling data of minorities. You read about that in the police auditor reports....found online as well...

4 people like this
Posted by @PAFreePress
a resident of another community
on Nov 12, 2017 at 11:55 am

Paly Resident O yes Ted... read his entire manifesto.... brilliant manthematician. Police sketch? Now if this was some politician you would bet your bottom dollar the police would provide a sketch.... There just lazy.

Like this comment
Posted by Sheri Furman
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 13, 2017 at 2:53 pm

Sheri Furman is a registered user.

Curious. Are people just wandering around downtown waiting for opportune moments to rob someone? Armed, no less.

6 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Nov 13, 2017 at 8:13 pm

100x more people wandering around downtown looking to bust into parked cars.

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

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