Crime - Sacto 911

Sacramento armed robbery spree again targets Asian Americans

Sacramento Police responded to three reports Friday night of armed robberies in which Asian Americans were the targets, according to a department press release.

The armed robberies happened in the south and east areas of Sacramento between 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Each victim was of Asian descent and was approached by two or three armed people who demanded money from them as they returned home, the press release said.

In two of the incidents, robbers were seen fleeing in a dark colored, 4-door sedan, possibly a Ford Taurus with a “Fulton Auto” paper license plate. A suspect fired a gun toward a victim while running away in at least one instance.

No one was injured in any of incidents, according to the press release.

The first armed robbery was reported to the police department at 8:50 p.m. Friday night at the the 7800 block of 39th Avenue, near Power Inn Road. The victim was reportedly approached by three people at gunpoint. The suspects went through the victim’s pockets, taking an unknown amount of cash before fleeing in a car, according to a police incident log.

Almost 20 minutes later, officers were sent to the 4000 block of Deer Run Way near Mack Road after a woman was reportedly approached by two masked men, both armed with guns. The woman was standing at the trunk of her car when the armed robbers took some of her things and fled in a vehicle.

In the third incident, police were sent to the 4900 block of Bandalin Way near Valley Hi Drive at around 9:22 p.m. Two people armed with handguns approached a woman on foot and grabbed several of her belongings, according to the incident log. When they left, the woman’s friend chased the suspects. One of suspects allegedly fired a gunshot at the friend. The two suspects were seen getting into a car leaving the area.

The announcement comes months after the police department first warned residents of a string of robberies that specifically targeted Asian Americans in March through the social networking site NextDoor.com.

Asian American residents of south Sacramento rallied together in September, asking then-mayor Kevin Johnson for help in combating what they called an alarming trend that targeted their community. The Police Department also held a number of community meetings with members of the Asian American community, with translators present to share new information and safety tips.

On Oct. 6, the department announced 20 arrests in connection to the south Sacramento robberies. The Sacramento Sheriff’s Department said the trend was not exclusive to the city, citing 15 of their own arrests through out the county between August and October.

Police Department spokesman Sgt. Bryce Heinlein said in an email Saturday no updates were available on the number of arrests made in connection to the robbery trend. The department planned to dedicated additional resources to investigate the recent armed robbery cases, he said.

The press release urged residents to take preventative measures, such as making sure the outside of homes are well lit, not carrying large amounts of cash and reporting suspicious vehicles or people to police.

Nashelly Chavez: 916-321-1188, @nashellytweets

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