Watch CBS News

Smash-and-Grab Mob Thwarted In Downtown Palo Alto; 2 Suspects Arrested

PALO ALTO (CBS SF) -- Two female suspects were in custody after a security guard thwarted a smash-and-grab mob of 30-40 individuals who were trying to bash their way into a Palo Alto retail store.

According to a press release issued by the Palo Alto Police Department, on Sunday night at around 11:18 p.m., a large group of approximately 30-40 suspects arrived in about 20 cars and attempted to break into clothing boutique the RealReal at 379 University Avenue in downtown Palo Alto when it was closed.

A prompt call from a private security guard reporting the incident brought a quick response from multiple police units who were able to stop the burglary.

The security guard said the suspects attempted to break down the shop's front door with unknown objects. The glass front door of the business was smashed held firm. He could only describe the burglary suspects as Black males and females wearing face coverings. After police arrived, the vehicles fled the scene.

An officer stopped one of the vehicles -- a green 2017 Ford Escape sport utility vehicle with its headlights off and no license plates -- on Willow Road at Chester Street in Menlo Park. The two occupants were detained without incident.

Inside the vehicle, police located at least $15,000 worth of stolen property from a second burglarized location of the RealReal in Larkspur. The property was still on clothes hangers and had price tags and security sensors still attached. Officers also located a hammer.

Further investigation revealed that the stolen property in the car had been taken in a similar burglary at The RealReal store in Larkspur earlier in the night.

The investigation revealed that the two suspects had come to Palo Alto with the larger group. The group intended to commit a burglary and steal merchandise from the store. The two suspects were with the group as they unsuccessfully attempted to break down the glass door and fled police responded. Police said no video surveillance of the attempted burglary was available for release.

Police are working in close collaboration with detectives from the Central Marin Police Authority on the two cases.

The burglary at the Larkspur RealReal location remains under investigation. Police are also continuing the Palo Alto investigation to identify the other suspects and to determine what additional connections might exist between these suspects and those involved with other recent similar crimes in the Bay Area.

Palo Alto burglary suspects Keyonni Marie Jones (left) and  Imani Kevyonna Barnes
Palo Alto burglary suspects Keyonni Marie Jones (left) and Imani Kevyonna Barnes (Palo Alto Police)

The two suspect, identified as 20-year-old Richmond resident Keyonni Marie Jones and 21-year-old Vallejo resident Imani Kevyonna Barnes were booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail for attempted commercial burglary and conspiracy, both felonies.

The attempted robbery in Palo Alto was just one of several recent incidents around the Bay Area recently, with others occurring in downtown San Francisco, Walnut Creek, Hayward and San Jose.

With the rash of recent similar crimes throughout the Bay Area, officers have stepped up patrols in retail areas of Palo Alto. Anyone who witnesses suspicious behavior in and around retail establishments in Palo Alto is encouraged to call the Palo Alto Police Department's 24-hour dispatch center at (650) 329-2413, or 9-1-1 if it is an emergency.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the PAPD 24-hour dispatch center at (650) 329-2413. Anonymous tips can be e-mailed to or sent via text message or voice mail to (650) 383-8984.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.