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Three San Francisco-area men specifically targeted Asian women across the Bay Area in at least 70 robberies because they believed “that Asian women don’t use banks,” authorities said.
An investigation into the crime spree began in late 2020 when the robberies and purse snatches started, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office said.
The thefts all followed the same pattern: The suspects would follow Asian women into parking lots and wait until they were in their vehicles before either smashing the window or opening the door to steal their purses from the passenger seat, officials said.
San Jose Police Department’s Robbery Unit concluded a yearlong, multi-jurisdictional investigation involving a prolific robbery crew that targeted victims of Asian descent. Anthony Michael Robinson, 24, Derje Damond Blanks, 23, and 27-year-old Cameron Alonzo Moody have been arrested in connection to robberies targeting Asian women, authorities said.
(San Jose Police Department)
The suspects believed the women carried cash, prosecutors said.
“There are numerous incidents where victims were pulled or wrestled to the ground during the robberies,” authorities said. “Some victims were injured.”
Two of the suspects, identified as Derje Blanks, 23, and Anthony Robinson, 24, used ethnic slurs during the robberies, the San Jose Police Department said. They were arrested on Sept. 8. Prosecutors have added hate crime enhancements to the charges, police said.
When authorities attempted to take both men into custody, Blanks fled in his car and crashed into an unmarked police vehicle before fleeing on foot, authorities said. Robinson then go into the vehicle and fled before running a red light and colliding with another car.
A 2-year-old child and her father were injured, police said.
A third suspect, Cameron Alonzo Moody, 27, was taken into custody last week. Two loaded firearms were recovered, including a ghost gun, authorities said.
Robinson allegedly told police that the “age of the people he was taking things from did not matter as long as they were Asian,” KNTV-TV reported.
In security footage obtained by the news outlet, a suspect is seen stealing items from the passenger seat of vehicles and running off or getting into a waiting vehicle.
Fox News has reached out to the district attorney’s office and the San Jose Police Department.
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