It’s known that crimes against Asian Americans are going up, but one East Bay police department says they’ve done the math and their data proves Asians are getting robbed more often than any other demographic in their city.
The San Leandro Police Department released the startling numbers that found violent crimes against Asians jumped by 283% in their city from 2019 to 2020.
“I feel very dangerous for me and also for my parents,” said Cara Wong of San Leandro. “I’m afraid of when my parents go out and they will meet someone or be attacked by others with no reason! Without reason! Just walk and then boom!”
She’s not wrong to be worried. A crime analyst with the San Leandro Police Department examined all the crimes that were reported last year and broke them down by demographics. Asian Americans make up 36% of the city's population according to census data and Denise Joseph’s review showed they are far more likely to be robbed than any other group.
“We do know that some of these cases are happening around banks and that’s definitely something that would be a crime of opportunity. We know these are happening in shopping centers,” she said.
The 2020 data showed that roughly eight out of every 1,000 of the city’s Asian population were robbed. Robbery was the top violent crime reported by Asian Americans.
The San Leandro Police Department posted a video in Mandarin, urging members of Asian American community to report crimes and tips on how to stay safe.
“Part of it is it’s a low risk high reward for the offenders,” said Joseph. “The people they are targeting tend to be elderly or alone or just they’re not paying attention.”
Joseph says the pandemic might be a reason why San Leandro saw crimes against Asian Americans rise dramatically. She says since many businesses were closed, many robbers switched from targeting stores to targeting victims on the street.
When it comes to hate crimes, she says only one hate crime against Asians was reported last year.