News

Elderly woman accosted by robbers in roadside attack

Duo attempted to take wedding ring off victim's finger as she walked along Channing Avenue

Two people attempted to rob an elderly Palo Alto woman of her wedding ring on Saturday afternoon, causing her injuries, Palo Alto police said in a press release.

The woman, who is in her 80s and was using a walker, was in the 700 block of Channing Avenue at about 4:15 p.m. when a large, black four-door sedan pulled up beside her. A female passenger asked the woman for directions to a grocery store before getting out of the car to continue the conversation. She told the victim that she resembled her mother and wanted to give her a piece of her mother’s jewelry. The woman took the victim’s hand off the walker and slipped a bracelet onto her wrist.

The woman then tried to pull the victim's wedding ring off her finger, but it would not easily come off, even when she pulled hard. The woman got back into the car, driven by a man, and they fled eastbound on Channing Avenue at a high rate of speed.

The victim suffered minor physical injuries. Because she didn't have a cell phone with her, she continued on her walk and later told a family member about the incident. The family member called the police.

Two of the victim's fingers were bruised during the attempted robbery. She described the woman as an adult with dark black hair in a bun and about 5 feet, 4 inches tall. She had a medium complexion.

Help sustain the local news you depend on.

Your contribution matters. Become a member today.

Join

The driver was a man with dark hair and a dark mustache. There have been no similar cases recently in Palo Alto, police said. In October 2021, however, a similar roadside scam occurred during which two necklaces were stolen from an elderly female victim's neck. The October case remains unsolved, with no suspects identified.

Detectives are investigating to see if there is any connection between the two cases, or any other similar crimes in other cities.

Police recommend to always remain aware of one's surroundings and to be cautious if approached by the occupants of an unfamiliar vehicle. Maintain a safe distance from any unfamiliar, unoccupied vehicle, they said. They ask that victims or witnesses promptly report suspicious behavior or crimes to the police by calling the 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413, or 911 if it is an emergency.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the dispatch center. Anonymous tips can be e-mailed to [email protected] or sent by text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984.

Stay informed

Get the latest local news and information sent straight to your inbox.

Stay informed

Get the latest local news and information sent straight to your inbox.

Sue Dremann is a veteran journalist who joined the Palo Alto Weekly in 2001. She is a breaking news and general assignment reporter who also covers the regional environmental, health and crime beats. Read more >>

Follow Mountain View Voice Online on Twitter @mvvoice, Facebook and on Instagram @mvvoice for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

Get uninterrupted access to important local crime news. Become a member today.

Elderly woman accosted by robbers in roadside attack

Duo attempted to take wedding ring off victim's finger as she walked along Channing Avenue

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Tue, May 17, 2022, 1:03 pm

Two people attempted to rob an elderly Palo Alto woman of her wedding ring on Saturday afternoon, causing her injuries, Palo Alto police said in a press release.

The woman, who is in her 80s and was using a walker, was in the 700 block of Channing Avenue at about 4:15 p.m. when a large, black four-door sedan pulled up beside her. A female passenger asked the woman for directions to a grocery store before getting out of the car to continue the conversation. She told the victim that she resembled her mother and wanted to give her a piece of her mother’s jewelry. The woman took the victim’s hand off the walker and slipped a bracelet onto her wrist.

The woman then tried to pull the victim's wedding ring off her finger, but it would not easily come off, even when she pulled hard. The woman got back into the car, driven by a man, and they fled eastbound on Channing Avenue at a high rate of speed.

The victim suffered minor physical injuries. Because she didn't have a cell phone with her, she continued on her walk and later told a family member about the incident. The family member called the police.

Two of the victim's fingers were bruised during the attempted robbery. She described the woman as an adult with dark black hair in a bun and about 5 feet, 4 inches tall. She had a medium complexion.

The driver was a man with dark hair and a dark mustache. There have been no similar cases recently in Palo Alto, police said. In October 2021, however, a similar roadside scam occurred during which two necklaces were stolen from an elderly female victim's neck. The October case remains unsolved, with no suspects identified.

Detectives are investigating to see if there is any connection between the two cases, or any other similar crimes in other cities.

Police recommend to always remain aware of one's surroundings and to be cautious if approached by the occupants of an unfamiliar vehicle. Maintain a safe distance from any unfamiliar, unoccupied vehicle, they said. They ask that victims or witnesses promptly report suspicious behavior or crimes to the police by calling the 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413, or 911 if it is an emergency.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the dispatch center. Anonymous tips can be e-mailed to [email protected] or sent by text message or voice mail to 650-383-8984.

Comments

There are no comments yet. Please share yours below.

Post a comment

In order to encourage respectful and thoughtful discussion, commenting on stories is available to those who are registered users. If you are already a registered user and the commenting form is not below, you need to log in. If you are not registered, you can do so here.

Please make sure your comments are truthful, on-topic and do not disrespect another poster. Don't be snarky or belittling. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

See our announcement about requiring registration for commenting.