Three men have been arrested in connection with a string of robberies that targeted Asian Americans in the San Francisco Bay Area, San Jose police announced on Monday.
Joel Contreras Barron, 26, Francisco Rincon, 28, and Juan Rodriguez-Ramirez, 26, are accused of 13 robberies, five grand thefts and “countless” vehicle burglaries. The crimes allegedly occurred between December 2022 and February of this year.
Rodriguez-Ramirez, of Richmond, California, was the first to be apprehended on Feb. 25 by Stockton police. Barron, of Antioch, California, was arrested on April 14 following car burglaries at the Grand Century Mall, while Rincon, also of Richmond, was nabbed on April 26.
Authorities reportedly recovered stolen property, around $6,000 in cash and high-capacity magazines and ammunition in subsequent searches.
The trio were booked into Santa Clara County Main Jail and San Joaquin County Jail on multiple felony charges. Prosecutors are still determining whether to add hate crime enhancements.
“It’s very difficult to prove a hate crime unless somebody says something very specific that they’re committing this crime for the purposes against a protected class,” said Deputy District Attorney Charles Huang, as per NBC Bay Area.
The arrests follow recent, multiple arrests for similar crimes in the Bay Area.
Three men taken into custody on April 17 are now facing hate crime charges for allegedly targeting Asian Americans during robberies earlier in the day.
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