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Oakland Police Warn Of Increased Chinatown Crime; Incidents Against Asian Americans Increasing

OAKLAND (KPIX 5) -- With Lunar New Year approaching this week, Oakland police said they have been warning residents that robberies and burglaries are on the rise in the city's Chinatown.

The department said it has re-allocated resources and added police patrols to the area.

Across the Bay Area, crimes against Asians having community members concerned for their safety.

In one recent surveillance video obtained by KPIX 5, a man can be seen casually walking inside a store. After a customer pulls out cash to pay, he snatches her wallet and runs away.

Surveillance video captured a horrifying assault in San Francisco's Anza Vista neighborhood last week.

A man can be seen charging at 84-year-old Vicha Ratanapakdee, knocking him to the ground and ultimately killing him.

The suspect, 19-year-old Antoine Watson of Daly City, casually walks away. He was arrested over the weekend along with a female associate, 20-year-old Daly City resident Maylasia Goo.

Court records show that Goo is no longer in custody as of Monday.

"He came to the US to help us with our children. We took care of him but he also took care of us," said Eric Lawsom, the victim's son-in-law.

Ratanapakdee's son-in-law and his daughter believe racism played a role in the attack.

"When people saw me because I'm Asian they ... blame me that I bring the COVID to this country," said Monthanus Ratanapakdee, the victim's daughter.

The brazen attack is the latest in a string of crimes against Asians in the Bay Area and beyond. The Stop AAPI Hate reporting center has received more than 2,800 incidents of discrimination since the pandemic began. Many more go unreported.

"Our community is certainly being targeted and being blamed for COVID, and certainly anti-China, anti-Chinese, and anti-immigrant climate under the former president didn't help the situation," said Co-Executive Director, Chinese For Affirmative Action Cynthia Choi.

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