Theft at Macy’s ends with foot chase in Menlo Park

By the Daily Post staff

A grab-and-run theft at Macy’s at the Stanford Shopping Center this afternoon (Jan. 14) ended in Menlo Park where two people were arrested, one of whom was captured after a foot chase.

The episode began at about 5 p.m. today when a shopper saw the theft in Macy’s Mens store and followed a female thief into the parking lot, according to police radio transmissions.

The shopper called police and let them know she was following the thief out of the parking lot and on to Sand Hill Road, then El Camino Real north into Mountain View.

Palo Alto police, who were on the line with the witness, contacted Menlo Park police, which began to move cop cars into the area.

The suspects’ vehicle was registered to an address in Vallejo, a dispatcher told officers.

The suspects turned right onto Ravenswood and an officer pulled them over at 555 Ravenswood, about a block from the Menlo Park police station.

But the man took off running.

Police surrounded the area that includes Laurel Street, Noel Drive and Alma Street. Minutes later, at 5:25 p.m., a Palo Alto cop spotted the male suspect and after a foot chase caught him on the west side of the Caltrain tracks near Oak Grove Ave.

After the couple were detained, police were checking the area for items the suspects possibly discarded during the chase. Police were also going back to the Macy’s Mens store to secure videos of the theft.


  1. The police chase on foot with big guns drawn in the dark was reckless. My two children were walking in the area, and at one point couldn’t get away from two of them running towards them with big weapons drawn. Isn’t citizen safety more important than apprehending merchandise thieves? Was their response proper procedure?

    • I totally agree. I was caught up stuck in my car with my toddler, frankly terrified and sitting there at Ravenswood and Laurel while at least 10 cars had us pinned – and it was just for a petty theft?

      • At the point the suspect started running away, it was no longer petty theft. Criminals often run away because they have outstanding warrants. Hey I get it though, you sympathize with criminals..I on the other hand sympathize with people risking their lives to protect me. Guess we can agree to disagree.

    • The cops are trying to do the best job they can, chasing someone in the dark. How are they supposed to know if the thieves were armed?? Your comment is entitled (taking your safety that cops maintain, for granted) and ridiculous!

  2. Yeah, most MP residents feel entitled. Now, if the cops had been chasing someone who stole from a MP resident, they wouldn’t be talking like they are.

    • Wrong. The point being made is that guns drawn over petty theft…(which they knew based on witness testimony) is overkill, potentially literally! If anyone feels their possessions are worth the loss of life, they need to get values sorted out:/

      • Yes, when a suspect is running away from a officer, they can be armed. But I get it, you rather the police do nothing when somebody runs away from an arrest. There are those that sympathize with law enforcement putting their lives on the line to enforce the law, and their are folks that are sympathetic to criminals. Thanks for letting us know which side of that divide you belong in.

  3. It’s hilarious reading some of these comments. Would you rather have the criminals get away? How about go into nearby Menlo Park properties for shelter? Hmm, change your mind?

    Entitled is one way to describe it. Stupidity is probably a more accurate term.

  4. This chase almost ended with the suspect running inside a daycare so yes I think it’s an overreaction. They ran right past me as I was buckling my toddler who I had just picked up from daycare. You could have sworn this was a terrorist they were chasing. Incredibly ridiculous and terrifying.

  5. Yes, absolutely justified and there need to be more active police responses to the never ending robberies that occur at the Stanford Shopping mall. It is ridiculous that perpetrators of these crimes generally get away – this bodes ill for the whole neighbourhood and we now have the burglaries and car break-ins that go with the overly lenient attitude towards what many consider “only petty crimes”. Do the crime and do the time. The rest of us shouldn’t have to put up with the situation that is taking even more from the quality of life here.

  6. Sad how our sheltered public believes what should be done in these situations…with the miniscule information provided by media.Ignorance is bliss?
    Any guesses on how many people and officers have been shot in the last couple weeks in CA, by the public?
    Wake up.

  7. Broken Window Policing vs Survival Crime Policing? Those criticising the police for “overreacting” ought to ponder how Palo Alto & Menlo Park will look if they stop responding to shoplifting and other low-level crimes. Property values will plummet (eg Detroit), car break ins will skyrocket (eg San Francisco), homeless encampments will appear in parks and empty space (eg SF Water Hetch Hetchy right-of-way). Excruciating details at the link …

  8. I was in the intersection when several police cars blocked all of us and took off running like bats out of hell, i was terrified and concerned that was a murdered on the loose or a terrorist, this was an overkill for a simple shoplifter.

    • The point he ran, it was no longer ‘simple shoplifting’

      Let’s hope if you ever need help from the police that they do nothing to help as you suggested.

      I mean one needs to be consistent yes?

  9. What a bunch of idiotic comments about entitlement.

    The police were doing their job, they were apprehending people who broke the people who committed a crime. If they had their guns drawn it was because they needed to be prepared to protect themselves. for the person who things an armed shoplifter is not a possibility, maybe you also think a person bicycling up to a traffic accident and shooting 30+ rounds off at an officer and random people can’t happen either.

    Glad the police caught the people and I hope they spend some time in jail.

  10. Menlo residents are a bunch of whiners and complainers. What a bunch of babies. I would be embarased to live there, sounds like they have a bunch of crime anyways.

  11. People, it’s not necessary to be calling each other names. Certainly it’s a good thing that the police are going after criminals. But I was walking down Ravenswood Ave just a few minutes after the suspects were grabbed. There were ELEVEN police cars parked along Ravenswood, I counted them. A friend who witnessed the suspect being grabbed at the Caltrain station told me the police had automatic weapons. This all seems like overkill to apprehend a couple of shoplifters. Although this is America, so I guess the police never know how many guns they will encounter even when chasing shoplifters.

    • Guess, you didn’t hear abou what happened in Davis last week. I get it though, it’s easy to criticize folks putting their lives on the line. Keep that childlike mind of yours, it’s cute.

  12. WOW, you guys are a bunch of entitled little whiners. Effing Police, both from Palo Alto and Menlo Park, catch the danged suspects and you’re crying over, “OH, THINK OF ME AND MY TODDLER, SHIVERING FROM THE SHEER, UTTER SHOCK FROM THIEVES.”

    Let me tell you this, the small things snowball into a bigger epidemic of no good hoodlums stealing es-aych which will exacerbate and make our communities riddled with robberies. I don’t want a Stanford-Palo Alto-Menlo Park ring of idiots thinking they can run around, steal things that is clearly not theirs, and terrorize innocent bystanders. NOT IN MY TOWN!

  13. This guy obviously wouldn’t stop if the cop said “pretty please.” Bad guys don’t voluntarily give up because somebody asks them.

    And one wonders why he’s running so hard since he would probably get a ticket for a store theft these days thanks to all the permissive laws passed by our legislature. I’ll bet the guy had warrants that put him in jail — and that’s why he was running.

  14. I have never seen more stupid comments in my life. Some people are just idiots. Sorry, maybe you should yield to police officers when they are apprehending a suspect instead of complaining that your toddler is frightened. To all residdents—would you be fine with these thugs robbing your houses? Because this happened in Portola Valley two years ago—gunmen began invading home at gunpoint.

    Grow up and let the sheriff do their job

  15. Cops are trained for these types of situations. A drawn gun does not mean finger on trigger even when its pointed. All you people who are saying this is reckless have no clue. Cops lay it on the line every day so cut them some slack!

  16. This has already been suggested, but I’m going to say it again anyway. MP residents are entitled and scared of everything because law enforcement has been doing their job to make MP a safe place. Duh. When police action takes place, they are suddenly surprised that it’s not Batman fighting crime in the shadows. Part of being a parent is knowing how and teaching our kids how to react to situations like this.

  17. The MP police followed their training and the were following their written SOP for these types of crimes. There is no way the MP Officers would know if the criminals were armed. The SOP they followed said drawn weapons are approved during this type of crime end of story. The response is definitely designed to be overwhelming as to end the crime fast as it can be with minimal injuries. MP LEO’s are a well run Organization and thank GOD they did respond with overwhelming force.

  18. Folks, in the absence of more information, I’m going to side with Maria Cortez on this one. This was not Code Red … not even close. I do agree on principle with the pursuit of the thief — after all, the police have a lot more information than we do, and it’s entirely possible there are criminals on the lam whom the police are after, and perhaps petty thievery is a tell-tale indicator of their whereabouts. On that front, I sympathize with the police. The hour of the day, and poor lighting at that hour, also make the whole situation fraught with uncertainty and fear. But c’mon, this wasn’t Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid armed to the hilt and standing off the local sheriff and deputies. Drawn weapons in the wake of daycare centers and children walking home? A Macy’s theft warrants that? I’m missing something here…

    • Yes, let’s just ask all petty criminals to please stop and turn themselves in. And if they don’t, it’s ok. They’ll just choose Menlo Park to crimes in again because the cops allow criminals walk away. Then you’ll just complain about cops not doing their job when crime goes up. What an f’ed up cycle.

  19. You have to remember that cops know more about that suspect than you do, especially if they already have a criminal record. Perhaps they were a known criminal with a violent record and that’s why guns were drawn. I prefer a cop having a gun drawn to a criminal having one. Let the cops do their job and stop complaining. It’s scary to see cops doing their job, I get it, but then you complain they don’t do anything. Also, think about the risk they are running, risking their lives and you’re getting scared because you see cops doing their job????? Are you Menlo Park residents so far up your entitled a$$es to see the bigger picture? I’d rather get criminals off the street. If they see cops are serious about petty crimes, they’ll think twice about committing petty crimes in MP again or committing even worse crimes in MP. So, y’all should be thankful instead of thinking about yourselves. ‍♂️

  20. Yes, let’s just ask all petty criminals to please stop and turn themselves in. And if they don’t, it’s ok. They’ll just choose Menlo Park to crimes in again because the cops allow criminals walk away. Then you’ll just complain about cops not doing their job when crime goes up. What an f’ed up cycle.

  21. Our Police Officers are hired, trained and paid to keep law and order. If you want to be able to walk downtown with your children safely be thankful they are here enforcing the law. Teach your children real life expectations.

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