Authorities arrest 2 suspects in string of Bay Area robberies targeting Asian women

Bay Area

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) — Two men were charged with targeting Asian women in a series of robberies across the Bay Area.

The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office said 23-year-old Derje Blanks and 24-year-old Anthony Robinson are accused of more than 40 robberies and purse snatches in the South and East Bays.

Hate crime enhancements were added to the charges because the defendants “targeted the victims because they assumed the women – who were almost all of Asian descent – carried cash,” according to the DA.

During many of the incidents documented in cities like San Jose, San Pablo, Hayward, East Palo Alto, Newark, San Leandro, Fremont, Campbell, Dublin, and Milpitas; the DA said the suspects wrestled some victims to the ground during the robberies, with some injuries reported.

Authorities are still searching for more suspects in these incidents, which started in late 2020. The DA said the robberies and purse snatches all followed a similar pattern, targeting Asian women.

“In some cases, the suspects used ethnic slurs to refer to their victims. The defendants would follow the women in parking lots to their vehicles, wait until the victim was inside her car, and either smash a window or quickly open a door to steal a purse off the passenger seat,” according to the DA.

The DA added that Robinson also allegedly injured a 2-year-old child in a vehicle that he crashed into while trying to evade arrest.

Blanks and Robinson will be arraigned on Friday afternoon in San Jose.

Back in April, the San Jose Police Department reported arresting a suspect for a similar crime. Hassani Burleson-Ramsey, 23, was arrested in Oakland, and is accused of being one of two suspects in several smash-and-grab robberies with all Asian female victim.

KRON4 has reached out to the DA for further information.

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