San Jose

AAPI Community Raises Concerns After Thieves Target Members in San Jose

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San Jose police announced arrests Wednesday in two robbery cases, involving multiple victims who had jewelry and purses violently snatched.

The cases are not directly related but the victims were members of the AAPI community.

AAPI activists are upset their communities seem to remain under attack.

Betty Duong’s mother was a victim of a strong-armed robbery in San Jose’s Little Saigon neighborhood in 2021. That’s when suspects blocked her car and then reached in and ripped her purse away.

Duong is distressed to hear about the similar robberies recently.

“And that’s because we’re being targeted. We’re seen as easy targets and they’re going after our elders, probably our most vulnerable,” she said.

Police said that one suspect from East Palo Alto is accused of 14 strong arm robberies, all in the South Bay for ripping jewelry off victims, hurting several in the process.

An Oakland couple was arrested in San Jose for a string of purse snatching robberies over several months throughout the Bay Area.

San Jose police said they had a good reason to wait until now to announce the arrests made last month.

“We wanted to make sure that there was a thorough prosecution here and that we work with our partners in the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office, ensuring that we added the hate crime charges and that we had enough information for that to actually be applicable,” said Sgt. Jorge Garibay of the San Jose Police Department.

Police and AAPI activists said the key to making more progress is to convince a sometimes reluctant community to report the crimes to police or community websites.

“Stop AAPI Hate is going to be at the forefront. Whether it be harassment, whether it be verbal harassment, people need to report their crimes,” said Stop Asian Hate supporter Leianne Wong Lamb.

In Little Saigon, there are community meetings held monthly to address the crime problem and safety.

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