(KRON) — Three men allegedly involved in an armed robbery spree targeting Asian victims in Palo Alto and Milpitas have been charged with hate crimes, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office. The three suspects; Tevita Lauti Fefita, 21, of Oakland, Curtis Eddie Charles Freeman, 19, of Stockton, and Siahola Jlan Tupouata, 18, of Oakland, all face robbery charges with hate crime enhancements, according to the DA.
If convicted, the suspects face prison time.
In one case cited by the DA, the men held a gun to the head of a man parked in his garage. His wife was standing outside the car at the time and two young children were seated in the car, the DA said.
Evidence shows that the suspects targeted Asian victims because of their perceived wealth, the DA also said.
“Those who prey on Asian people should know that both my office and our county are proudly diverse and united against hatred and violence,” said DA Jeff Rosen.
The spree of robberies the men are charged with occurred on April 17. They allegedly robbed a woman who had just arrived at her Palo Alto home at gunpoint before robbing another woman who was taking groceries out of her car a few minutes later.
The third robbery occurred in a garage in Milpitas when the men allegedly robbed a woman and her friend at gunpoint. They were arrested in San Francisco later that night.
The three suspects will be arraigned Thursday afternoon at the North County Courthouse in Palo Alto.