Two men accused of a series of thefts and snatching robberies in the Bay Area also face hate crime charges for allegedly targeting Asian women, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office said on Friday. .
Derje Blanks, 23, and Anthony Robinson, 24, are accused of targeting Asian women because they thought they would take cash and “don’t use the banks,” authorities said . Ethnic slurs were reportedly used against some of the women, and officials said Blanks and Robinson followed the victims to their cars in parking lots and waited until they were inside before opening the door or walking out. smash a window to snatch a purse from their passenger seat.
The men have been involved in more than 40 incidents from the end of 2020, spanning San Jose, San Pablo, Hayward, East Palo Alto, Newark Fremont, San Leandro, Campbell, Dublin and Milpitas, with more agencies investigating additional crimes, the district attorney’s office mentioned.
Several of the victims were beaten or pulled to the ground during the robberies and some were injured, authorities said.
The men will be brought to justice on Friday at 1:30 p.m. in the San José courtroom. An investigation is underway and authorities are looking for more suspects, officials said.
The suspects were apprehended last Friday and upon arrest Blanks “attempted to escape in his car and crashed into an unmarked police vehicle,” authorities said. Blanks then allegedly escaped on foot and Robison also attempted to escape by sitting in the driver’s seat and crashing into a car, “seriously injuring” a 2-year-old, according to the prosecutor’s office.