Update: November 3, 2015 – Arrest
Vancouver Police are investigating a series of purse snatchings targeting women in Chinatown.
Between October 28th and November 1st, four separate purse snatchings in the Chinatown area were reported to police in which the suspect targeted older Asian women. In all of the robberies, the women were approached from behind, shoved, and then a man ran off with their purse. Police believe the same person is responsible for all four robberies.
The first robbery happened on October 28th around 5 p.m., when an 80-year-old woman was walking in the 200 block of East Pender Street. A man came up behind her, pushed her to the ground, and took off with her purse. She suffered a minor injury to her knee and was treated at the scene by paramedics.
The second robbery happened on October 31st around 5:30 p.m. A 91-year-old woman was walking in the 500 block of Main Street when a man approached her from behind and violently tore her purse from her shoulder, knocking her to the ground. She also suffered a minor knee injury and was taken to the hospital for treatment.
Fifteen minutes later, a third woman was attacked as she was walking in the 600 block of Jackson Street. Again, a man approached her from behind and ripped the purse from the 81-year-old woman’s shoulder. She ran after the robber, but lost him as he fled southbound on Jackson Street.
The fourth robbery happened on November 1st around 5 p.m. when a 59-year-old woman was walking in the area of Gore and East Cordova Street, when she was approached from behind, pushed and her purse was snatched from her shoulder. She was not injured.
In all four robberies, the women appear to have been targeted based on their age, sex and ethnicity.
In each case, the suspect was described as a white man in his 20s, 6 feet tall, with a slim build, wearing blue jeans and a dark jacket.
“These are cowardly acts committed against vulnerable members of our community,” says VPD spokesperson Sergeant Randy Fincham. “These women are someone’s mother and grandmother, who should be able to go about their day, without fear of being attacked.”
Anyone with information about these robberies is asked to call the Vancouver Police or Crime Stoppers at 1 (800) 222-8477.