An Asian couple fell victim to a violent robbery in Oakland’s Little Saigon on Feb. 16.
The incident, which was captured by CCTV, occurred outside a business near Ninth Avenue and International Boulevard at around 1:30 p.m.
The video shows two hooded individuals approaching the couple and forcing them to surrender their valuables. A fifth person, who appears to be homeless, witnesses the entire incident from across the street.
One of the assailants is seen targeting the male victim and searching his pockets. He also punches the man’s head during the struggle and eventually takes his wallet.
The other assailant is seen attempting to swipe the female victim’s purse. He manages to snatch it, and the woman yells, “Give me my ID!”
Seconds later, the assailants trip the male victim. They check his back pockets one last time before reportedly fleeing in a getaway car, which can be heard speeding off in the video.
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The owner of the business, who provided the surveillance footage, told ABC7 News anchor Dion Lim that stores in the area and around Chinatown have been closing early due to the “fear that someone is out there.” He said his own mother suffered a similar attack some six or seven years ago.
“There’s a lot of lost business and lost income because of that fear that someone is out there, about to take advantage of me. It’s sad they have to do that, sad we have to do that,” he said.
Carl Chan, president of the Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce, said attacks on Asian Americans are happening not only in Chinatown, but in all of Oakland. Last August, he urged Gov. Gavin Newsom to declare a state of emergency in the city. “The problem is, now they’re also using guns. It’s getting scarier,” Chan told KTVU. Chan himself fell victim to an attack last April. “Crime’s happening all over, and we must work together, and we must also work with the police department and work as a community to stop this kind of crimes [sic] happening,” he added.
The recent Chinatown incident is under investigation. For now, the owner of the business urges people to take extra precautions.
“You have to know what’s around you and be more careful,” he said, according to KTVU. “Don’t place your things — don’t carry valuables, especially a lot of cash and jewelry.”