OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) – On Sunday afternoon just before 1:00 p.m., a man got out of his car in front of the Won Kee Supermarket in Oakland’s Chinatown, but he left the motor running. While he loaded rice into the back of his car, another man got into the car and attempted to drive off.
“The victim never would have believed that he would be a victim because there was so many people in the area,” said Oakland Chinatown Director of Commerce Carl Chan. “And all he thought it may take 10-15 seconds to load up the sack of rice to his car.
While the thief drove away, the driver grabbed onto his car and was dragged before he eventually let go. The driver suffered cuts and bruises, but survived.
Chan warned those in his community that minorities and the elderly are being targeted.
“Most of them, they realize that many of us don’t speak out frequently. And they think that we are not strong enough to defend ourselves,” he said. “And all these criminals, they know by the time when you call and trying to get access to language, it’s already too late. They’re all gone.”
Chan, who provided a video showing the suspect walking past the market and waiting for his opportunity, says cities must make it easier to get 911 operators who speak the victim’s language. He also says there must be greater consequences for those who prey on these communities. Until that time, he says the community must take extra steps to protect themselves.
“No matter if there are patrols, volunteers or in a police presence. We still need to be very, very careful of our own environments. So pay attention!”