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Suspects In Separate Robberies Of Elderly Asian Victims Arrested In San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- Three suspects were arrested on the same day for three separate robberies of elderly Asian victims in San Francisco, police announced Thursday.

The first robbery happened on May 14 just before 3 p.m. at a bus stop at Geary Blvd. and Fillmore St. in the Japantown area. A 68-year-old Asian man told officers he was waiting for the bus when a man approached, pointed a handgun at him, and demanded his wristwatch, police said.

The gunman forced the victim to the ground and struggled with him in an attempt to remove his watch, but the victim resisted and the gunman eventually let him go and fled the scene in a vehicle, police said. Officers later found the vehicle at Leavenworth and Turk Streets in the city's Tenderloin neighborhood but didn't find the suspect.

On May 21, investigators were able to identify the suspect as 24-year-old Pete Vines and located him a block away from where the car was found. Officers arrived and arrested Vines without incident at 8:30 a.m. on charges of attempted robbery, elder abuse, and using a weapon during an attempted felony.

About a half-hour later, officers responded to the Hayes Valley neighborhood about a robbery that had just happened at Hickory & Gough Streets. An 83-year-old Asian woman told officers she was walking when someone approached her from behind and began grabbing her purse. The woman resisted the attacker and engaged in a tug-of-war with the suspect as a good Samaritan ran over to help her, police said.

The suspect fled but officers were able to find and detain a person who matched the description given by the victim and witnesses. Police eventually arrested 40-year-old Christopher Nadon, a Rohnert Park resident, on charges of attempted robbery, false imprisonment, elder abuse, kidnapping, and assault and battery.

At around 12:30 p.m. that same day, officers patrolling along the 500 block of Market St. saw a man chasing another man while yelling at him to stop. Officers ordered the man being chased to the ground but instead the he dropped a tote bag and cellphone and advanced toward officers, police said.

The officers forced the man to the ground and the man chasing him told officers he saw the suspect steal the phone and bag from a woman at Sansome and Sutter Streets. The victim, a 65-year-old Asian woman, told officers she was approached by a male who grabbed her purse. Following a brief struggle the man stole the woman's tote bag and cellphone and ran away, police said.

The suspect was identified as Ryan Preston, 31, of San Francisco. He was arrested and booked on charges of robbery, elder abuse, and possession of stolen property.

Police said the incidents were unrelated and the investigations were still open. Anyone with information was asked to call the SFPD 24-hour Tip Line at 1-415-575-4444 or text to TIP411 and begin the text message with SFPD.

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