Police say six men targeted and robbed elderly Asians in Bay Area: ‘Victims hunted’

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The smash-and-grab robbery crew knew who they were after: elderly Asian women who, they figured, didn’t use banks and were carrying large amounts of cash, police said.

They honed their methods, according to prosecutors: surveilling Asian grocery store parking lots, stalking women to make sure they were alone, using cars to pin victims’ vehicles, smashing car windows if necessary, and snatching purses, shopping bags or other valuables within reach. Then they bolted.

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“These victims . . . were being essentially hunted,” prosecutor Marisa McKeown of the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office in California told The Washington Post.

Attacking on a near-daily basis, they used their tactics to great effect over a year-long period stretching from October 2020 to September, according to investigators. Police say a six-man crew committed more than 70 robberies, burglaries and thefts in San Jose alone and at least 177 in cities throughout the San Francisco Bay area. The robberies not only affected the victims but also the Asian community writ large as the specter of violence scared people trying to run errands.

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