The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office on Friday said that three suspects linked to over 70 Bay Area robberies that targeted Asian women were arrested.
The probe was launched last year when 23-year-old Derje Blanks and 24-year-old Anthony Robinson were suspected to start tailing Asian women to their cars in different parking spaces. The suspects wait until their victim is settled inside the vehicle, then they hit open the windows or doors and rob their victim’s purse, according to the D.A.’s office. Their strategy to rob women happened multiple times.
27-year-old Cameron Moody, the third suspect in the case, was already under the custody of the authorities. He will be present in court next week.
The San Jose Police Department has released a security camera footage, which NBC Bay Area has shared, showing one of the suspects in the blue Toyota sedan’s driver’s seat. He staying behind the vehicle of the victim in an attempt to stop them in as another suspect target the vehicle’s passenger side. Then, the suspect hits the victim’s window and stole her purse from the car.
According to the district attorney’s office, some of the victims incurred injuries during the incidents because they were “pulled or wrestled to the ground.”
The San Jose Police Department said the three faces more than 70 counts of felony robbery as well as more hate crime enhancements. The D.A.’s office, citing the evidence gathered, said Robinson and Blanks talked through text about their plan to target victims according to race because they “believed that Asian women don’t use banks” and carried cash instead. It added that the suspect used derogatory slurs when they talked about their victims, SFGATE reported.
Among the locations of the incidents across the Bay Area were San Pablo, Hayward, Dublin, Fremont, East Palo Alto, San Leandro, Newark, Milpitas, San Jose, and Campbell. Investigation is underway to other crimes from other cities that are likely connected to the same suspects.