Photo: Tito Cordero Vialau
Originally published as a City of Palo Alto press release –
“Palo Alto, CA – Police arrested a man last Friday who got into the victim’s unlocked car, then forcibly took her keys out of her hand and attempted to steal the car when she confronted him.
On Friday, November 26, 2021, at about 5:14 p.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a call from a witness reporting a woman screaming for help in City Parking Lot “D” at 375 Hamilton Avenue. Officers responded immediately and contacted the victim and suspect, both of whom were outside the victim’s silver 2017 Honda Civic. Police detained the suspect without incident.
The investigation revealed that the victim and her husband had parked in the parking lot and noticed the suspect staring at them as they did. The victim and her husband, a couple in their sixties, walked to a nearby business and left the car unlocked. After thinking more about the situation, the victim returned to their vehicle with the intent to lock it, and found the suspect sitting in the driver’s seat.
The victim began to scream, which caused the suspect to get out of the car and approach her. He demanded her car key, which was in her hand. He then forcibly took the car key from her, causing a small laceration to her hand as he did, got back into the car and attempted to start it. He was unsuccessful in starting the car, and as the victim’s husband returned to the scene, he got out of the car. Police arrived shortly thereafter. The victim declined medical attention for her hand.
Police booked 26-year-old Tito Cordero Vialau of San Francisco into the Santa Clara County Main Jail for carjacking, a felony. His booking photo is attached to this release.”