Handbag Bandits Strike a 3rd Time in Palo Alto

Smash-and-grab handbag thieves struck again in Palo Alto this week, making off with $50,000 in pricey handbags.

Palo Alto police said the heist occurred Monday afternoon when a "coordinated group" hit the RealReal store in Palo Alto, following the same pattern of two previous crimes.

Five males entered the store at 379 University Ave. just before 6pm June 21, police said, ripping handbags from security cables, then pushing aside a security guard who attempted to stop them from fleeing.

The guard followed them out of the store but was confronted by two additional men who threatened that they had a gun, though none was actually shown, police reported.

The seven thieves then ran east on University Avenue, and the security officer reported hearing the sound of screeching tires on Waverley Street, out of his vision.

An estimated 20 handbags valued at more than $50,000 were taken, according to employees.

The seven suspects were wearing facemasks and hooded clothing with the hoods up, employees said.

Police are investigating whether the theft is connected to similar thefts at Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto. More than $150,000 in handbags were taken from the Neiman Marcus store on May 19 and $100,000 in handbags from the Louis Vuitton store on June 7.

Anyone with information is asked to call the police dispatch center at (650) 329-2413. Anonymous tips can be e-mailed to [email protected] or sent via text message or voice mail to (650) 383-8984.



  1. Odd, the police are asking for the public’s help but provide no description of the seven perpetrators. Are we looking for seven retired Irish priests? Seven Elvis impersonators? Seven what? Also, I am not sure that defining their sex as males is appropriate until we know their pronouns.

    Perhaps the police should have said, “Some people, did something, and we would like to talk with them sometime, if it is not too inconvenient.”

  2. Where’s the crime? The robbers are just trying to feed their families, right? Congratulations on your voting everyone!

  3. These stores need to have a locked door with an electronic opener. Stand in the doorway, put your face to the camera, and they will open the door, or not. Many stand alone higher end jewelry stores have this feature. Ran into this many time in Asia and Europe.

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