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Palo Alto police: Woman stole $4K of sunglasses, crashed into cop, flipped her car

A pair of handcuffs on a wooden surface.
A pair of handcuffs | Bernd Wüstneck/picture alliance via Getty Images | Source: Bernd Wüstneck/Picture alliance via Getty Images

A San Francisco woman suspected of stealing nearly $4,000 worth of sunglasses was arrested Tuesday by Palo Alto police after flipping her car in a rollover crash as she fled police.

At around 10:40 a.m. Tuesday, Palo Alto police received a report from a Macy’s employee at Stanford Shopping Center for an in-progress theft of sunglasses. The employee told police that the female suspect fled in a car.

At about 10:51 a.m., an officer pulled over a black 2007 Honda CRV driving on Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park and told a 35-year-old female driver to step out of the vehicle.

Sand Hill Road | Google Street View

After a short conversation, the woman got back into her car despite multiple requests by the officer for her to stop. She then reversed her car, striking the police car before speeding off.

A chase ensued, and the suspect’s car struck a nearby curb at about 50 mph, rolled over once and came to rest on its wheels in an embankment, police said.

The suspect then fled on foot before the officer tackled her on the grass. She then resisted arrest by continuing to pull her hands away and attempting to stand up, police said. A male passerby assisted the officer until backup arrived to take the woman into custody.

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Inside the flipped car, police said officers found nine pairs of sunglasses worth a total of $3,900.

The responding officer suffered moderate injuries on his arm, but it was not clear when the injury occurred.

The suspect was booked into Santa Clara County Jail on four felony charges, including assault with a deadly weapon for backing her car into a police car, along with resisting arrest, reckless evading and grand theft.

Police also booked her for three outstanding warrants including a felony for grand theft out of San Jose, a misdemeanor for shoplifting and providing false identification to police out of Marin County, and a misdemeanor for theft out of Alameda County.

Garrett Leahy can be reached at