A series of violent robberies in Visitacion Valley may be the work of a coordinated gang of youths who are specifically targeting Asian women on Muni buses. The latest attack, on a petite 39-year-old woman on a 9-San Bruno bus, was caught on surveillance video (see below) and aired over the weekend by KTVU. The victim told KTVU that she's now too scared to ride public transit to and from work.
Five robberies, which have all occurred since the end of July, have centered on Muni buses in the Visitacion Valley neighborhood and have tended to be crimes of opportunity targeting women sitting near exit doors, as Captain Joseph McFadden says. In the incident recorded below from August 6, a deplorable teen grabs the woman's purse, which was wrapped diagonally around her, and ends up dragging her screaming off the bus and onto the sidewalk. She sought hospital treatment for injuries to her torso and legs, and was out of work for three days. She claimed that no witnesses intervened on her behalf.
Police have arrested three suspects in connection with these robberies, including the 16-year-old shown in the video and a 17-year-old accomplice/lookout who also appears in the video. There are apparently more suspects out there, and witnesses to any of the other robberies are asked to come forward and call the SFPD's anonymous tip line at 415-575-4444, or text a tip to TIP411 with “SFPD” in the message.
These recent incidents call to mind some similarly disturbing attacks on the T-line in 2010, a couple of which targeted elderly Asian people, and one of which resulted in the death of 83-year-old Huan Chen.