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Three arrested for spree of robberies, purse snatches that targeted Asian women

Thefts spanned four Bay Area counties

A yearlong, multijurisdictional investigation involving a group that allegedly targeted victims of Asian descent in muggings in four Bay Area counties has culminated with three arrests, police and prosecutors said Friday.

Three people have been arrested and charged with a spree of robberies and purse snatches that targeted Asian women in four Bay Area counties. Image courtesy PhotoSpin.

The San Jose Police Department's robbery unit, with assistance from the department's covert response unit and detectives from the Hayward Police Department, concluded the investigation by initiating the arrests and eventual apprehension of the three suspects, who worked in concert to commit dozens of robberies throughout Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.

Asian females were frequently targeted, and many of them were injured in the robberies.

Anthony Michael Robinson, 24, of Stockton; Derje Damond Blanks, 23, of San Jose; and Cameron Alonzo Moody, 27, of East Palo Alto have been arrested and charged in connection with the crimes.

More than 40 purse snatchings and robberies were recorded in the spree, which covered the cities of Campbell, Dublin, East Palo Alto, Fremont, Hayward, Milpitas, Newark, San Jose, San Leandro and San Pablo, according to the District Attorney's Office, which has charged the men for the thefts and hate crime enhancements.

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The spree started in late 2020, and in some cases, the defendants allegedly referred to the victims with ethnic slurs, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office. They allegedly followed the women as they walked in parking lots to their vehicles, waited until the victims were in their car and either smashed a window or opened a door to take a purse from the passenger seat.

Robinson and Blanks were located and arrested in San Jose on Sept. 8. During apprehension efforts, Robinson fled in a vehicle, ran a red light and collided with another vehicle — which injured a 2-year-old girl and her father. Robinson and Blanks were booked in Santa Clara County jail on over 70 counts of felony robbery and have appeared in court for arraignment hearings on Thursday and Friday. They were also scheduled for arraignment on Monday afternoon, according to online court records.

On Thursday, Moody was located and arrested in Union City by members of the covert response unit. Two loaded firearms were recovered. One of them was a homemade "ghost gun." Moody was booked into Santa Clara County jail for a multitude of felony robbery charges and is scheduled to appear in court for an arraignment Tuesday afternoon.

"I want to thank all of our department members, as well as the outside agencies who assisted with this long and complex investigation," said San Jose Police Chief Anthony Mata. "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."

Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact Detective Estantino of the San Jose Police Department's robbery unit at 408-277-4166, or Detective Niedenthal of the Hayward Police Department at 510-293-7167.

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Three arrested for spree of robberies, purse snatches that targeted Asian women

Thefts spanned four Bay Area counties

by / Palo Alto Weekly

Uploaded: Tue, Sep 21, 2021, 9:55 am

A yearlong, multijurisdictional investigation involving a group that allegedly targeted victims of Asian descent in muggings in four Bay Area counties has culminated with three arrests, police and prosecutors said Friday.

The San Jose Police Department's robbery unit, with assistance from the department's covert response unit and detectives from the Hayward Police Department, concluded the investigation by initiating the arrests and eventual apprehension of the three suspects, who worked in concert to commit dozens of robberies throughout Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.

Asian females were frequently targeted, and many of them were injured in the robberies.

Anthony Michael Robinson, 24, of Stockton; Derje Damond Blanks, 23, of San Jose; and Cameron Alonzo Moody, 27, of East Palo Alto have been arrested and charged in connection with the crimes.

More than 40 purse snatchings and robberies were recorded in the spree, which covered the cities of Campbell, Dublin, East Palo Alto, Fremont, Hayward, Milpitas, Newark, San Jose, San Leandro and San Pablo, according to the District Attorney's Office, which has charged the men for the thefts and hate crime enhancements.

The spree started in late 2020, and in some cases, the defendants allegedly referred to the victims with ethnic slurs, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office. They allegedly followed the women as they walked in parking lots to their vehicles, waited until the victims were in their car and either smashed a window or opened a door to take a purse from the passenger seat.

Robinson and Blanks were located and arrested in San Jose on Sept. 8. During apprehension efforts, Robinson fled in a vehicle, ran a red light and collided with another vehicle — which injured a 2-year-old girl and her father. Robinson and Blanks were booked in Santa Clara County jail on over 70 counts of felony robbery and have appeared in court for arraignment hearings on Thursday and Friday. They were also scheduled for arraignment on Monday afternoon, according to online court records.

On Thursday, Moody was located and arrested in Union City by members of the covert response unit. Two loaded firearms were recovered. One of them was a homemade "ghost gun." Moody was booked into Santa Clara County jail for a multitude of felony robbery charges and is scheduled to appear in court for an arraignment Tuesday afternoon.

"I want to thank all of our department members, as well as the outside agencies who assisted with this long and complex investigation," said San Jose Police Chief Anthony Mata. "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."

Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact Detective Estantino of the San Jose Police Department's robbery unit at 408-277-4166, or Detective Niedenthal of the Hayward Police Department at 510-293-7167.

Comments

John
Registered user
Adobe-Meadow
on Sep 22, 2021 at 7:09 am
John, Adobe-Meadow
Registered user
on Sep 22, 2021 at 7:09 am

The hate crime enhancement is probably not going to stick. They targeted women because they are easier to brutalize and asians because of the predisposition for cash. There’s no indications of racism, just predators hunting prey.


Jim Petrie
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Sep 22, 2021 at 9:16 am
Jim Petrie, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on Sep 22, 2021 at 9:16 am

Concurring with John/a resident of Adobe Meadow.

Vulnerability to street crime is not necessarily hate-related but one based on perceived opportunities and accessibilities.

And while racial profiling remains a controversial methodology, some individuals are more prone to committing these types of crimes than others.


Adrian Prosky
Registered user
another community
on Sep 22, 2021 at 10:01 am
Adrian Prosky, another community
Registered user
on Sep 22, 2021 at 10:01 am

Preying on the weak and elder-aged is wrong regardless of their ethnicity.

Are these indescretions attributable to a poor upbringing, an ongoing sense of hopelessness, or outside sociopathic peer pressures?

Perhaps various elders will need a shopping chaperone or volunteer bodyguards to prevent such crimes from further occuring or escalating.


Phoebe Winters
Registered user
Barron Park
on Sep 22, 2021 at 11:46 am
Phoebe Winters, Barron Park
Registered user
on Sep 22, 2021 at 11:46 am

I am not Asian but am always cautious when shopping alone or in parking garages where these types of individuals tend to congregate.


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