Pair who allegedly targeted Asian women at NorCal shopping centers face hate crime charge

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Two people were charged with hate crime enhancements after allegedly targeting Asian women in a series of robberies in Sacramento, police said.

The robberies occurred between April and May at shopping centers in the Stockton Boulevard area of Sacramento, city police said in a release.

The suspects, identified as 20-year-old Latravion Mccockran and a male 17-year-old, allegedly targeted the women as they left the shopping centers, assaulting them and causing injuries.

The suspects stole thousands of dollars of cash, jewelry and other items, police said.

Sacramento police detectives identified and located the suspects' vehicle and reportedly found "evidence related to the robberies." The two were identified and arrested in June.

During the investigation, detectives reportedly found evidence that the victims had been targeted due to their race.

This week, the Sacramento County district attorney's office added a hate crime enhancement to the robbery charges, police said.

The charges come a few weeks after the release of a California Department of Justice report that showed a 177% increase in hate crimes against Asians between 2020 and 2021. The number of incidents rose from 89 in 2020 to 247 in 2021, the report said. In 2020, hate crimes against Asians represented about 8% of race-based hate crimes reported in the state. Last year, they constituted 21%.

Hate crimes rose overall in 2021, with those against Latinos up 30%, against Black people up 13% and against Jewish people up 32%.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.