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San Jose Police Department
Pursuant to Cal Govt. Code Sect 6254(f)
San Jose Police Department
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201 W. Mission Street, San Jose, CA 95110
Ph (408) 277-5339 Fax (408) 286-0923

SJPD Arrest Serial Purse Snatch Robbery Suspect
Filed under Press Release, on 1/12/2016 3:37:00 PM by Author: Albert Morales #3477.

TYPE OF CRIME: Robbery (Purse Snatch) CASE NUMBER: 16-003-0400
VICTIM: San Jose Residents
SUSPECT: Thao Minh Luong AGE: 50
ADDRESS: San Jose Resident
Suspect: Thao Minh Luong


Surveillance Video

San Jose:
Since late November 2015, a series of 20 purse-snatch robberies have occurred in San Jose.  The suspect would target older Vietnamese female shoppers as they were returning to their vehicles.  The suspect would usually approach the victim from behind and rip the purse from them leaving the victim emotionally as well as physically shaken.  In one case, the suspect dragged and punched a 67 year old victim who did not relinquish her purse fast enough (see linked video below).  Other times, the suspect would grab the purse as the victim placed it in her vehicle.  The suspect(s) would flee in a waiting vehicle.

Through the weekend Robbery Detectives conducted surveillance in parking lots of several Asian markets to include the parking lot of Senter Foods located at 3975 Senter Rd.  Two previous purse-snatch robberies recently occurred in the parking lot.

On Saturday (January 9, 2016) at approximately 1000 hours, LUONG entered the Senter Foods parking lot and drove slowly around the lot numerous times.  LUONG stopped next to a lone 67 year old Cambodian woman who was putting groceries into her vehicle. The suspect exited his vehicle and took the victim's purse as she placed it into her vehicle.  The victim was uninjured.

LUONG fled to a nearby parking lot and was in the process of disposing the stolen property when apprehended by Robbery Detectives.  A subsequent search of the vehicle and a motel room rented by the suspect revealed property believed to be stolen in other robberies.

Robbery Sergeant Larry Day stated that he is relieved the suspect has been captured and the elderly, who have already given so much, do not need to be fearful while going about their everyday lives.

Detectives believe LUONG might have had an accomplice in some of the robberies.  Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Michael Villanueva or Detective Juan Hernandez of the San Jose Police Department's Robbery Unit at 408-277-4166.

Persons wishing to remain anonymous may either call the Crime Stoppers Tip Line, (408) 947-STOP (7867), or click the "Submit a Tip" link below. Persons providing information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect may be eligible for a cash reward from the Silicon Valley Crime Stoppers.

BY: Ofc. Albert Morales #3477 AUTHORIZED BY: Lt. Abruzzini
DATE: 1/12/16 TIME: 3:30 PM DATE: 1/12/16 TIME: 3:50 PM


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