MOUNTAIN VIEW (CBS SF) – A woman has been arrested Friday in connection with two crimes targeting Asians in Mountain View last month, amid an ongoing rise in anti-Asian attacks in the Bay Area and across the country.
According to police, the suspect is accused of stealing food and clothing from a store on the 200 block of Castro Street in downtown on February 13. Police said the suspect allegedly told the victims she did not have to pay because of their Asian ancestry.READ MORE: 'Sick Of Looking At The Blue Trap'; Golden State Warriors Ready For Playoff Stretch Drive With Fans In The Stands
The suspect was also linked to a battery at a downtown restaurant around the same time. Police said she allegedly yelled at two patrons, one of whom was Asian, made racist statements and spit at the victim.
Following the incidents, the suspect was detained. The victims said they did not desire to prosecute and the suspect was released since neither incident was witnessed by officers, police said.READ MORE: South Bay Traffic Alert: Overturned Big Rig Shuts Down Southbound Traffic On 101
Per the department’s policy on proactively investigating hate crimes, the investigation continued and the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office was consulted. Police said that prosecutors concluded that hate crime charges could be brought and an arrest warrant was issued.
The suspect, identified as 39-year-old Karen Inman, was arrested Friday after she allegedly attempted to steal candy and ice cream at the Smart and Final store on the 100 block of East El Camino Real. Police said there is no indication she made any racial comments during the latest incident.
“Hate crimes have not and will not be tolerated in Mountain View and as this case demonstrates, we take these crimes seriously and will investigate them to the fullest extent,” said Chief Chris Hsiung.MORE NEWS: 'I'm In'; Caitlyn Jenner Says She'll Challenge Gov. Gavin Newsom In Recall Election
Inman was booked into the Santa Clara County Jail on suspicion of petty theft, robbery and two counts of violation of civil rights by force or threat. According to jail records, Inman’s next court appearance is on March 8.