SJ police investigate purse snatch ring

March 31, 2008 9:15:54 AM PDT
San Jose police are putting out the word to women, beware of 'The Rippers.' That's what they're calling packs of violent purse snatchers who have been targeting Asian women.

The victims are all Asian woman, they're mostly Vietnamese and they're always alone when the robbers strike. The most recent incident happened Tuesday night at the Costco parking lot.

ABC7 NEWS acquired surveillance video from a similar robbery last month at a strip mall. The suspects work in pairs; one walks by the victim, then signals his accomplice - who knocks the woman down and grabs her purse. In one case caught on film, a victim unsuccessfully tried to run the robbers down.

San Jose police say in all, the robbers struck 21 times since November. Four suspects were arrested, but the robberies continue. Police say the robbers in the video are Hispanic, and again, lone Asian women appear to be the perfect prey.

Police believe the suspects are targeting Asian women because they tend to carry cash. In one case, the victim told police she had $700 in her purse. So police are warning women to be extra careful, try to walk with other people, hold your purse tightly, especially when you are coming out of the store and also refrain from carrying large amounts.


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