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Robbery suspects thought they’d escaped cops. Then they hit a Waymo

The image captures a congestion of cars at night, under a light drizzle, with glowing headlights and colorful brake lights reflecting off the wet ground.
Waymo robotaxis line up to escape their parking lot after San Francisco Police Department placed a cone at the entrance in SoMa on Monday. | Source: Courtesy Kayla Flores

A robotaxi appears to have been in the right place at the right time at around 2 a.m. Monday morning, when robbery suspects crashed a stolen vehicle into a Waymo, foiling their escape, police said.

Cops were patrolling near United Nations Plaza when a robbery victim contacted them to say while he was standing next to his car at the corner of Eighth and Folsom streets, he was assaulted and robbed of his cash and car keys by a man and a woman as the victim stood next to his vehicle.

The suspects fled in the vehicle and the victim was hospitalized with minor injuries, police said.

Fire trucks with flashing lights and first responders at night near a parking lot and a graffiti-covered truck.
Emergency vehicles arrive at the scene of a suspected robbery near Waymo's parking lot in SoMa on Monday. | Source: Courtesy Kayla Flores

Officers broadcast the vehicle and suspects’ descriptions to units in the surrounding area before finding it at Harrison and Second streets. They tried to stop the suspects before a police chase began and cops lost sight of the vehicle near Folsom and 11th streets.

Police then found the suspects had crashed into a Waymo at Folsom and 14th streets near the Alphabet-owned firm’s robotaxi parking lot. They were caught after a brief foot chase. Waymo did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The woman, 26, was taken to a hospital with minor injuries but later arrested on suspicion of receiving a stolen vehicle, conspiracy to commit a felony and resisting arrest. The 41-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of having meth after he was also taken to hospital with minor injuries.

Reddit poster Kayla Flores saw some of the action go down from their apartment.

“I was able to get close to the accident 40 mins later after driving my mother to work and saw he had hit a Waymo vehicle,” Flores wrote. “I got a bit of a chuckle to see that the police had to block the Waymos in their parking lot by a single traffic cone, by the time I came home there were so many trying to get out even after most of the police and emergency vehicles had cleared out.”

George Kelly can be reached at