Man robs woman at gunpoint in Palo Alto

A man robbed a woman of her cell phone at gunpoint as she sat in her car near downtown Palo Alto late Friday, police said today.

The woman flagged down a police officer immediately after the robbery, which happened around 11 p.m. in the 400 block of Cowper Street, police said.

The woman, described as being in her twenties, told the officer that the suspect had pointed a gun at her and demanded money.

She handed over her cell phone instead, and the man fled southbound on Cowper toward University Avenue, police said.

She described the man as having an average build and wearing a red zippered sweatshirt with the hood pulled over his head.

Detectives are investigating the incident and anyone with information is asked to call the police department's 24-hour dispatch center at (650) 329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to or texted to (650) 383-8984.