A street in Oakland, Calif.’s Chinatown saw two robberies in two consecutive days last week, stoking fears in a community that has suffered anti-Asian attacks for months.
July 15: The first incident, on the 200 block of 9th Street, occurred at 3:15 p.m. on July 15. Two male suspects targeted an Asian man in his 50s who was walking with a cane.
- The victim was standing on the roadside when the suspects approached him. One carried a black handgun with an extended magazine, Oakland police said.
- The suspects took the man’s belongings by force. The armed individual pistol-whipped the victim.
- A witness who tried to intervene was also pistol-whipped. After the attack, the suspects fled in a getaway vehicle with a third individual and headed eastbound on 9th Street.
- The victims described the suspects as males in their 20s. The armed suspect stands between 5 feet and 10 inches and 6 feet, weighs between 180 and 200 pounds, and wore a black hoodie, red shirt, black pants and black shoes.
- The second suspect is reported to be of the same height, weighs between 160 and 180 pounds, and wore a white hoodie, white pants and black shoes. No information has been released about the individual in the getaway vehicle.
Violent robbery of an Asian senior in Oakland Chinatown this afternoon. 9th St btw Harrison & Alice. Victim & his cane on the ground. Sounds like he’s screaming in the video. A Good Samaritan pistol whipped. Info & video courtesy of Chinatown Chamber president Carl Chan. @KPIXtv pic.twitter.com/w1HPWL70wx
— Da Lin (@DaKPIX) July 16, 2021
July 16: The second robbery occurred just 30 feet away from the first incident before noon on July 16. This time, three suspects targeted a Chinese mother and daughter.
- Aiwon Woo, in her 80s, told KPIX 5 that the robbers hit her and her daughter in the head. The suspects took their purses when they fell on the ground.
- The trio reportedly jumped out of a four-door Lexus sedan that had no license plate. However, the description of the suspects, as well as a fourth individual in the getaway vehicle, matched those of a crew involved in other robberies reported in North Oakland and Emeryville that same Friday, KPIX 5 noted.
Concerns raised: Community members have vocalized concerns after the brazen attacks, which were both caught on surveillance videos from the adjacent Chinese Independent Baptist Church.
- Carl Chan, president of the Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce, has been flooded with calls from concerned residents. “[They were] saying how upset they feel and how angry they are and saying our community is being attacked,” he told KGO.
- Chan himself fell victim to an attack in late April, which left him with bruises and a scraped knee. He said someone attacked him from behind, yelled a racial slur and then hit him in the head.
- “We have an increase of about 53% of robberies throughout the whole city. And we also have an increase of 91% of carjackings,” Mae Phu, an Oakland Chinatown liaison police officer said. “So a lot of our resources are going to every single thing we can.”
Police have not determined a connection between last week’s robberies. Anyone with information is asked to call investigators at (510) 238-3326.