Palo Alto cops are on the hunt for a purse snatcher who boldly robbed a woman while she was parked in her own driveway Wednesday night. The Palo Alto Police Department reports the theft took place around 8:09 p.m. on the 700 block of De Soto Drive.
Using her phone, the victim—a woman in her sixties—was unaware that danger lurked just outside the safety of her vehicle. The thief, described as a Black male adult in his twenties, approximately 5 feet 10 inches to 6 feet tall with a thin build, accosted her while wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt and a neck scarf that concealed most of his face. Yelling threats and seemingly armed, the crook compelled the victim to hand over her belongings. "The victim assumed it was a gun, though one was not seen," detailed the report.
Despite a widespread manhunt involving the efforts of both the Menlo Park Police Department's canine team and a chopper from the San José Police Department, the suspect remains at large. The perpetrator, leaving behind the victim's phone, managed to vanish with her purse and its contents, which are still missing.
In the area, officers recovered the discarded phone shortly after processing it for fingerprints before returning it to the shaken woman. "Police conducted a thorough search of the neighborhood," stated the department, sharing that their efforts included the assistance of a helicopter and a canine unit. Investigators continue to piece together the chain of events in an effort to identify the suspect.
Authorities are urging anyone with details about this brazen crime to come forward. As the case continues to unravel, detectives are actively piecing together leads. Tips can be confidentially reported to the Palo Alto police 24-hour dispatch center at (650) 329-2413. Furthermore, information can also be anonymously emailed to [email protected], or exchanged via text message or voice mail at (650) 383-8984.