Driver of carjacked BMW arrested after chase — he’s also a suspect in a downtown mugging

By the Daily Post staff

Palo Alto police have arrested a 16-year-old suspect who led them on a chase in a BMW that had been carjacked at gunpoint the night before in East Palo Alto, according to authorities. After he was arrested, an officer realized he was also the young man who mugged a woman in downtown Palo Alto on Friday night, police said.

On Saturday (Feb. 20) just before midnight, a patrol officer on E. Bayshore Road spotted a BMW that had been stolen at gunpoint the prior night in East Palo Alto.

The gray 2008 BMW 330i sedan had been taken by two men in their 20s, one who whom was armed with either a rifle or a shotgun, shortly before midnight on Friday, police said.

The officer tried to stop the driver on E. Bayshore Road, south of Embarcadero road, but he wouldn’t stop and instead led officers on a chase.
The BMW eventually stopped on Clarke Avenue in East Palo Alto, just east of East Bayshore Road, and five people got out and fled on foot, police said. Officers believed they were all adults.

The driver, who also matched the general description of the armed carjacking suspect, began running west over the pedestrian bridge with officers in foot pursuit.

A Palo Alto police dog caught the suspect on the bridge at about 12:05 a.m. on Sunday. Paramedics took the suspect to a hospital for treatment of bite wounds to his left arm, police said.

The other four suspects ran east into East Palo Alto, and eluded capture. Police did not find any weapons inside the stolen vehicle.

An officer at the arrest scene recognized the suspect as matching the appearance of the young man who pulled a strong-arm robbery in downtown Palo Alto the night before, police said.

Downtown mugging

On Friday at 10:18 p.m., police dispatchers received a call reporting a strong-arm robbery in the 600 block of High Street.

The victim, a woman in her 40s, reported that as she was about to unlock the front door of her residence, a man came up behind her, ripped her clutch out of her hand and fled on foot. She described the suspect as a Hispanic male in his early 20s, with black long hair. He was wearing a black sweatshirt and gray pants. The woman wasn’t physically injured.

Woman’s credit card used to buy gas in EPA

Police soon determined that a credit card belonging to the woman had been used shortly after the crime at the Shell gas station on University Avenue in East Palo Alto. Officers obtained surveillance camera footage showing a suspect using the credit card. The suspect matched the description provided by the victim.

Following the arrest of the suspect after the chase, police conducted follow-up investigation with the strong-arm robbery victim and confirmed the suspect was the same person who had robbed her the night before. Police have not been able to locate her stolen clutch, which contained cash, credit cards and her identification.

Police took the suspect, a 16-year-old from East Palo Alto, to the Santa Clara County Juvenile Hall. He was arrested on suspicion of possessing a stolen vehicle (a felony), felony evading (for fleeing in the car), misdemeanor resisting arrest (for fleeing on foot), and robbery (a felony).

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