A hate-crime and robbery suspect was arrested last week after he stole a woman's backpack containing her laptop — and laptop locator software helped authorities track him down. He's now been charged with seven felony counts stemming from robberies and attempted robberies of Asian women dating back to March.
District Attorney Chesa Boudin on Tuesday announced the charges against O’Sean Garcia, who was being arraigned in San Francisco court today. Garcia's victims, Boudin says, were all Asian women ranging in age from 18 to 61, many of them monolingual Cantonese speakers, and it's not clear from the release which neighborhoods Garcia most often operated in.
"We do not tolerate hate or violence in San Francisco, and those who commit violence or target our AAPI community members will be held accountable,” Boudin said in a statement. "We know the pain that crimes like this can cause to the broader community; these attacks against Asian women occurred during a time when many in the AAPI community across the nation have felt especially vulnerable."
The victim in the most recent case, on September 21, was a 27-year-old woman who was robbed of her backpack as she was getting out of her car. Investigators say that the woman's laptop, which was one of several items stolen, helped them locate Garcia.
The other alleged incidents that Garcia is charged with, without locations, are as follows:
- On March 13 at 7:30 p.m., Garcia is accused of three crimes, including a robbery with a hate crime enhancement involving a 40-year-old female victim who was outside her home — an accomplice was also involved in allegedly helping separate the victim from her bag.
- A second victim an hour later on March 13, an 18-year-old woman, was walking home when Garcia allegedly ran up and tried to snatch her snatch her bag, but she pepper-sprayed him in the face and he ran off.
- A third victim, a 29-year-old woman, was allegedly approached by Garcia around 9 p.m. on March 13, and she refused to let go when he demanded her bag, and he ran off.
- A week later, on March 20, Garcia and an accomplice allegedly attacked a 52-year-old woman and dragged her while trying to take her purse, and ultimately succeeded in taking it and escaping in a car.
- There were then two incidents on August 5, beginning with one in which two suspects tried to rob a 36-year-old woman in her driveway, until the victim's mother came out of the house screaming and the suspects fled in a car.
- The second incident was a successful robbery of a 61-year-old woman who bag was snatched while she was walking home from work.
In several of the incidents, a red sedan was involved in the crime.
Any witnesses in these incidents or anyone with further information about Garcia is encouraged to call the San Francisco District Attorney’s Hate Crime hotline at (628) 652-4311.