Three women were arrested following a robbery at the Stanford Shopping Center Tuesday night, according to police.
Alexis Quiroz, Salena Quiroz and Leah Perez, all of Sacramento, were arrested and booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail.
The robbery took place at around 7:30 p.m. when an officer at Macy's tried to stop the three women leaving the store with unpaid merchandise.
When the officer confronted the women, they refused and one of them attempted to spray him with pepper spray. At the same time, the other two women punched him in his face and head, according to a statement.
“They end up challenging him, fighting with him, punching him in the face,” said Brian Philip of the Palo Alto Police Department. “Actually one of the suspects pulls out a can of pepper spray and pepper sprays him.”
The three women fled in a vehicle which was later seen leaving the shopping center. Authorities were able to detain the three suspects and found three juvenile passengers inside the vehicle ranging from 7 months to 17 years of age.
“We spent about six hours taking care of the kids until we were actually able to get a family member here to release the children to the family members,” said Philip.
A cannister of pepper spray and stolen clothing were found in the vehicle, too.
All three suspects were booked for felony charges of robbery and conspiracy.
This was at least the fifth violent crime at the Stanford Mall this year.
Just on Monday three 16-year-olds and a 14-year-old were arrested for an attempted car-jacking.
There was also a shooting in the parking lot in February.
And in January two women were robbed of their purses at gunpoint while sitting outside of the true food kitchen and robbed of their purses at gunpoint.
Stealing from shopping centers isn’t unique to Palo Alto, it’s been seen at jewelry stores and other high-end outdoor malls .
To combat the uptick in crime, the city is stepping up patrols.
“I’ve reallocated two of our overtime officers on a daily basis to spend a significant amount of time at the mall,” said Philip. “We’re going to increase traffic enforcement at the mall, and visibility.”
Anyone with information about Wednesday's incident is asked to call our 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.