A mugging Monday in the parking garage at the Stanford Shopping Center at 180 El Camino Real led to the arrest of three Oakland juveniles following a vehicle pursuit, Palo Alto police said.
The robbery was reported about 8:20 p.m. and the victim, a woman in her 60s, suffered moderate injuries to her head and a knee. Before she was taken to the hospital, the woman told police she was getting out of her car to go shopping when two vehicles pulled up and she was approached by three boys who tried to pull her purse from her shoulder.
The woman said that she resisted and one of the youths hit her repeatedly in the back of the head, causing her to fall to the ground. One of the youths then stomped on one of her knees and she released the purse, which the trio fled with.
The woman gave officers a description of the youths and one of the vehicles before Palo Alto Fire Department paramedics took her to the hospital.
A car matching the description fled from an officer at high speed eastbound on Hamilton Avenue in downtown Palo Alto, then was seen a short time later going eastbound on the Oregon Expressway approaching U.S. Highway 101. The white 2016 Mazda6 again fled, accelerating onto northbound Highway 101 with officers in pursuit.
The car was finally stopped on O'Brien Drive near Kavanaugh Drive in Menlo Park and all three suspects were taken into custody without further incident at about 8:35 p.m.
About an hour later a resident in the 800 block of Lincoln Avenue reported finding personal property dumped in front of their house. A check showed the items included credit cards that had been in the stolen purse.
It was later determined that the suspect car had been reported stolen Saturday in Oakland.
Police took the three suspects to Santa Clara County Juvenile Hall.
The driver and one of the passengers are both 12-year-olds who initially gave false identities. The third suspect is 14 years old.
The three Oakland youths were arrested for robbery, felony battery, and conspiracy to commit a crime. The 12-year-olds were both arrested for providing false information to police, and the driver was also arrested for evading police and vehicle theft.
While there have been no other robberies recently in Palo Alto committed by juvenile suspects, police are investigating whether the three may be linked to other crimes in other cities. They are also following up on the second vehicle reported by the victim and a witness. The second vehicle is described as a dark four-door sedan traveling with the white Mazda6 at the time of the robbery.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the 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.