EXCLUSIVE: 70-year-old Asian woman describes emotional battle following violent Oakland robbery

Dion Lim Image
Friday, March 11, 2022
EXCLUSIVE: Woman describes violent Oakland purse snatching
A 70-year-old Chinese woman is speaking out about being the target of a heinous purse-snatching outside her retirement home in Oakland Saturday night.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- A 70-year-old Chinese woman is speaking out for the first time about being the target of a heinous purse-snatching outside her retirement home in Oakland Saturday night.

There are still so many questions Liming Song has about the night she returned from the Korean market around 7:30 p.m..

Surveillance video first broken on social media by ABC7 News anchor Dion Lim the night it happened, shows a man walk to Ms. Song's SUV. As she's unloading rice, the man grabs her purse.

RELATED: Video shows woman thrown to ground during robbery outside Oakland senior living facility

Speaking through an interpreter, she said, "the whole scene was like a movie."

A struggle ensues as the man, dressed all in black, pulls her to the ground, pries the bag out of her hands and runs off.

"It kept playing in her head over and over again," says Stewart Chen, interim president of the Oakland Chinatown Improvement Council, who provided the interpretation for this interview.

Showing us her once bloodied hands that have now mostly healed, Ms. Song said she can't leave the facility without looking left, right and all around.

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She's now dealing with another kind of pain.

"She's trying to change her mindset not to be so depressed. (She feels) there is no viable solution to the situation we're in." Says Chen.

But there are efforts to help. Less than a mile away, the Toishan Oakland Chinatown volunteer patrol team celebrated it's 1-year anniversary and was recognized by community leaders such as Oakland mayor Libby Staff and a representative from California Attorney General Rob Bonta's office.

The group currently has 137 volunteers who take shifts to patrol Chinatown. They range in age from 17 to 76-years old.

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There are also other volunteer patrol groups such as the Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce's Blue Angels that have also had a major presence in the neighborhood.

During a time of continued attacks on Asian Americans, the group plans to partner with the Oakland Chinatown Improvement Council to expand its reach even more.

OCIC will also assist Ms. Song so she can replace her stolen heart medication and credit cards.

Ms. Song hopes to one day be brave again, like she is on stage with her dance troupe.

"I see my car and I'm nervous," she says in English.

She may also move out of Oakland and wishes for her independence and sense of security back.