red envelope
Unsplash/Jason Leung

Vietnamese grandmother robbed of Lunar New Year money in San Jose

A 64-year-old Vietnamese grandmother has been left shaken after she was robbed in broad daylight in San Jose, California. The grandmother withdrew $1000 in cash from her local bank on Wednesday afternoon when the suspects snatched her purse, reports KTVU.

“She was pretty shaken,” the daughter of the victim, Kathy Duong said. “They took her purse. It had her keys, her possessions. It was gone in an instant.”

After the victim withdrew the cash for the Lunar New Year, she headed to her car across the street where it was parked in front of a Vietnamese market on Second street. As she got in her car, another car pulled up and blocked her path. One of the suspects got out and opened the grandmother’s car door and snatched her purse before taking off. The victim felt she was being watched the whole time.

“A car blocked her in, jumped out, opened the door, grabbed her purse and then ran off,” Duong said.

The victim didn’t get a good look at the suspects but the getaway car has been identified as a gray Infiniti.

Asian seniors are being targeted in the Bay Area. Recently, surveillance video caught two separate incidents of suspects violently pushing elderly Asian men. One of them, Vicha Ratanapakdee died from his injuries. Carl Chan, the president of the Oakland Chinatown Chamber said there have been over 20 attacks and robberies against Asians in the Bay Area in recent weeks.

San Jose Councilmember Raul Peralez said it’s the first time he is seeing this trend.

“This may be related to something that’s happening in our economy you have much more people who are desperate right now,” he said.

Meanwhile, San Jose Crime Prevention Specialist Mimi Cristien Nguyen warned people to not walk around with red envelopes. Red envelopes are a good luck monetary gift in Chinese custom usually given out in Lunar New Year. The holiday will be celebrated Friday.

Police are also advising residents to not walk around with anything expensive including jewelry. They are investigating the robbery by canvassing the area and looking for surveillance videos.

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