SAN JOSE (KPIX) — San Jose police arrested a suspect and are searching for a second man in connection with smash-and-grab purse thefts across the Bay Area.
“It’s brazen, it’s definitely not something we want to see in our city of San Jose,” said San Jose police spokesperson Ofc. Steve Aponte.
READ MORE: Road to Recovery: Economists Say It’s a Good Time for Jobseekers
In San Jose, there was a total of nine robberies from March 18 to April 26 but, Aponte said, it’s believed the suspects are behind up to 30 similar robberies across the Bay Area, including incidents in Oakland, Union City and Hayward.
Surveillance video of two of the robberies shows the suspects blocking the victims with their car, then jumping out, opening the victims’ car doors and grabbing their purses.
Aponte said in some cases the suspects smashed car windows to get to the purses.
The suspects would allegedly wait until the victims parked their cars or watched them as they left shopping centers and banks and would strike as soon as they got into their cars.
“Auto locks, unlocks the doors, he just opens the door, grabs it and is fleeing inside the suspect getaway car by the time the victim is getting out of her car realizing what happened,” said Aponte.
READ MORE: No Wiggle Room. Dog Rescued From Tight Space Between San Francisco Buildings
Aponte said all nine victims in San Jose were adult Asian American or Pacific Islander women. While the robberies don’t appear to be racially motivated, Aponte said the cases were a high priority for the robbery unit.
The AAPI has been on edge as hate crimes have increased since the pandemic began.
“Detectives worked tirelessly to track down information,” said Aponte. “It’s something that, to us, we had to do something about it and our detectives really did a great job of connecting the dots.”
On Wednesday, San Jose police arrested Hassani Burleson-Ramsey in Oakland.
Shoppers at the areas the suspects targeted said it now makes them think twice about simply getting in and out of their cars.
“To be honest I think they’re kind of sick in the head,” said one shopper who wanted to be identified as Astrid. “You came here you try to live the American dream and it sucks to be targeted.”
MORE NEWS: Driver Shot, Crashes on Highway 4 Off-Ramp in Pittsburg
“I have to look around first but you just never know,” said shopper Linda Nguyen.
Credit: Source link