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Robbers targeting Asian women in South Seattle

SEATTLE -- Robbers are targeting Asian women on the streets of South Seattle, not just in busy commercial areas but in quiet neighborhoods, too.

“They are snatching jewelry and purses, unfortunately,” said Pat Murakami with the South Seattle Crime Prevention Council.

Nine different Asian women robbed in a span of nine days. A map released by the Seattle Police Department shows a pattern.

Six of nine robberies occurred between 4 p.m. and  7:30 p.m in Beacon Hill or Rainier Valley area.

The victims are 35 to 75 years of age and several of them were attacked while walking from their car to their home.

An elderly Asian woman who did not want to be identified told Q13 News that her Beacon Hill home was burglarized 5 years ago and ever since then she has been concerned about crime.  So it’s very unnerving to hear now that 4 of the 9 street robberies happened blocks away from her house.

“I have to take precaution maybe have extra set of eyes,” said the elderly woman.

Seattle Police say more than one man is committing the crimes.

In each of the cases, the suspect will grab the woman from behind or walk up to the victim asking a question before they snatch jewelry, purses and credit cards.

“It’s frightening for the members of our community,” Murakami said.

Murakami says robbers targeting Asian women is nothing new.

“Call 911. We’ve had a problem with some of these women calling family members and family members calling 911,” Murakami said.

Murakami says that can delay an arrest. A language barrier should not keep victims from calling 911.

“State the language you speak Cambodian, Vietnamese, whatever it is, it will take a few seconds they will give you a translator,” Murakami said.

But the most important thing is to not be a target.

Police are asking women to hide jewelry or any other valuables.

“I will definitely keep that in mind, I am not going to bring my iPad out as much,” Cristela Saturday said.