News Release, Police Department

Press Release - Three More Arrested in Robbery Purse Snatch Series

September 17, 2021


Media contact:

Officer Cassondra Fovel

(510) 293-7064



Three More Arrested in Robbery Purse Snatch Series


HAYWARD, Calif., September 17, 2021 — Over the last several months, the Hayward Police Department and other surrounding law enforcement agencies have been investigating a series of purse snatch robberies that occurred throughout the Bay Area, including in Hayward.

In most cases, the suspects watched the victims after they conducted a bank transaction or purchased items at different shopping centers. Once the victims were in their vehicles, the suspects smashed the car windows, stole the victim’s property from inside, and fled the area. On several occasions, the suspects approached the victims before they reached their cars and forcibly took the victim’s property. Some of the victims were injured during the encounters. Most of the victims are female and are members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. In some instances, the suspects used racial slurs to refer to their victims.

After conducting extensive follow-up investigations and making two arrests earlier this year, the Hayward Police Department’s Robbery unit, in conjunction with San Jose Police Department’s Robbery Unit, have arrested three more subjects believed to be responsible for dozens of robberies in this series.

The suspects have been identified as 23-year-old Derje Blanks, 24-year-old Anthony Robinson and 27-year-old Cameron Moody. Blanks and Robinson were taken into custody on September 8, 2021, and Moody was taken into custody on September 16, 2021.  All three individuals were booked into the Santa Clara County Jail for multiple counts of felony robbery, conspiracy, and hate crime enhancements.

“I would like to thank the investigators of the Hayward Police Department and the outside agencies who assisted in the arrest of these three subjects. As a former investigator, I can attest to the difficulties of these long, complex, multi-jurisdictional/multi agency investigations.

Hayward’s investigators and the members of the impacted agencies stayed the course, and we hope these arrests lead to the closure of several local and outside jurisdictional robbery cases that have caused trauma to many of our communities.

These robberies have been at the forefront of our departments focus for the last year. Many of the robberies targeted a specific demographic that made these incidents even more reprehensible. I have seen the concerns from our community members posted on websites like Nextdoor, and the changes many of our female community members have had to make with regards to how they conduct their day-to-day business. We should all stay vigilant and careful in our daily activities and transactions, but our community can rest a little easier knowing these subjects are in custody.”  -Chief Toney Chaplin

There are still outstanding suspects related to this robbery series, and the investigation is ongoing. More information will be released to the public when it is available.

Anyone with information related to these incidents is asked to contact Detective Niedenthal at 510-293-7167.

The Hayward Police Department case number is 2021-018532.

Download the full press release.