Palo Alto police are investigating two cell phone thefts over the weekend as possibly related, as a suspect in both cases matches the same description provided by different victims.

The first robbery was reported at 3:46 p.m. Saturday by a passerby calling about an ongoing fight at the Palo Alto Transit Center train platform on University Avenue.

When Palo Alto police arrived, they found the victim on Quarry Road in El Camino Real and two suspects had fled the scene.

Police say the victim, identified only as a man in his 50s, was standing on the train platform when a man he did not know approached him and an argument ensued. The suspect allegedly punched the man in the face and both men fell to the ground.

Police say a female suspect then approached and hit the victim in the head repeatedly with a thermos, and the suspect then stole the victim’s mobile phone before the two suspects fled. .

Police found the cellphone nearby and returned it to the victim, who suffered multiple lacerations to the head but refused to seek medical treatment from paramedics.

The suspect was described as a black woman wearing a beanie and a black jacket. The male suspect was described as a black man with dreadlocks and wearing all-black clothing.

A man matching the same description – except for his blue denim clothes and a white t-shirt – threatened a woman Sunday night a block from the first case.

Police say an employee of the Sheraton Hotel at 625 El Camino Real called at 9:11 p.m. on behalf of a victim of a threat and cell phone theft.

Police say the victim – described only as a woman in her 40s – was walking south on El Camino Real near University Avenue when she was approached by a black man with dreadlocks who asked to use his cellphone .

When the woman refused and tried to walk away, the suspect threatened to beat her to death, police say. The victim then ran, intentionally dropping the phone, and headed to the hotel to call for help.

The police could not locate the phone.

Detectives are investigating whether Sunday’s case has a possible connection to Saturday’s assault.

Anyone with information about either case is urged to call the department’s 24-hour dispatch center at (650) 329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to or sent by text or voicemail to (650) 383-8984.

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Copyright © 2023 by Bay City News, Inc. Republication, redistribution, or other reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.

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