California woman stole Amazon van because she ‘just needed to get back to San Jose’: police

The Amazon worker saw someone driving his vehicle away as he was returning from making a delivery

A California woman told police she stole an Amazon worker’s van last week because she "just needed to get back to San Jose." 

Palo Alto police received a call just after 3:30 p.m. on Thursday from an Amazon driver who said someone had stolen his van, loaded with undelivered packages. 

Palo Alto Police

Detectives booked 36-year-old Elena Flores of San Jose into the Santa Clara County Main Jail. (Palo Alto Police)

Investigators found that the worker had parked his van eastbound in the 400 block of West Charleston Road while making a delivery. The worker left his keys in the ignition and the engine running.

As he was returning to his van, the worker saw it being driven away, police said. The worker watched the van make a U-turn on West Charleston Road and then head southbound on El Camino Real. 


Investigators worked with Amazon dispatchers to live-track the stolen van and found the suspect exiting the vehicle after she’d parked at an Amazon facility in the 900 block of McLaughlin Avenue in San Jose, roughly 20 miles south of Palo Alto. 

Detectives arrested 36-year-old Elena Flores of San Jose, California. She was booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail for felony vehicle theft, and for committing a felony while out on bail for a felony. 

Online records indicate Flores is still in custody on $35,000 bail. She is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday morning. It was not clear if she had retained an attorney who could speak on her behalf. 

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