According to authorities, three men have been charged in the San Francisco Bay Area hate crime spree targeting Asian women.
Derje Blanks, 23, Anthony Robinson, 24, and Cameron Moody, 27, were arrested following the year-long investigation involving multiple jurisdictions, San Jose police said.
The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office stated that according to the evidence, the three defendants targeted the victims because they assumed the women carried cash. A number of incidents involved the victims being pulled or wrestled to the ground during the robberies, with some of the victims sustaining injuries.
The crime spree included over 40 incidents throughout San Jose, San Pablo, Hayward, East Palo Alto, Newark, San Leandro, Fremont, Campbell, Dublin, and Milpitas. There are still crimes being investigated by additional agencies.
Blanks and Robinson were arrested in San Jose on September 8, police revealed. Robinson tried to flee from the arresting officers, ran a red light, and collided with another vehicle – injuring a two-year-old child and her father. Robinson and Blanks were charged with over 70 counts of felony robbery and booked into Santa Clara County Jail.
Moody was located by investigators in Union City and placed under arrest. Police recovered two loaded firearms, one of them a ghost gun. Moody was booked into the Santa Clara County Jail on various felony robbery charges.
The defendants will be arraigned on Friday and face numerous charges with hate crime enhancements.
“This dangerous criminal spree was solved thanks to the hard work of the San Jose Police Department,” Santa Clara District Attorney Jeff Rosen stated. “We will hold these defendants and anyone who worked with them fully accountable for their ignorant and destructive behavior.”
According to investigators, the crime spree begun in late 2020 and included robberies and purse snatches that virtually followed the same pattern.
The DA’s office stated that evidence showed that the suspects targeted Asian women because they believed they don’t use banks, and even used ethnic slurs in some cases when referring to their victims.
The three allegedly followed their victims into parking lots and waited until the women were in their cars before smashing a window or quickly opening a car door to steal a purse from the passenger seat.
“I want to thank all of our department members, as well as the outside agencies, who assisted with this long and complex investigation,” San Jose Police Chief Anthony Mata said in a statement. “Thanks to their hard work there are three less predators targeting members of our community. We are sensitive to the hate aspect targeting Asian females. I commend District Attorney Jeff Rosen for pursuing hate crime enhancements. We have tenacious investigators, and a dedicated apprehension team that was tasked with bringing these suspects to justice.”
Sources: CBS SF BayArea