Vancouver Police are investigating a number of purse snatchings leading up to and during the Halloween weekend in the Chinatown area. A total of four incidents have occurred between October 28 and November 1 and 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,” reads a statement by the VPD. “Police believe the same person is responsible for all four robberies.”
According to a press release, the incidents are as follows:
- The first robbery happened on October 28 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 31 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.
- The third robbery occurred just 15 minutes after the second attack. A woman was walking in the 600 block of Jackson Street when 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 1 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.
Police say the women in all of the attacks have been targeted based on their age, sex and ethnicity. The suspect is 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.