Video, widely circulated online, shows two women out for a walk in the Birdland neighborhood around midday Wednesday.
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A man is seen running up from behind, and pretends to trip and drop something.
When one of the women, who is pushing a baby stroller, pauses to see what happened, that's when she's attacked and her gold necklace ripped from her neck.
"That's something that doesn't usually happen on this street!" exclaims Katie Hadfield, who has lived in the neighborhood for several years.
Many people online and in-person, describe their neighborhood as multicultural and say the victims are South Asian.
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ABC7 News anchor Dion Lim spoke to a number of Indian American women in the community who didn't want to go on camera, but say they're feeling targeted for their gold jewelry and are warning each other not to wear it out.
Captain Dan Pistor of the Sunnyvale Department of Public safety echoes the sentiment. "Please honor your cultures but when you're walking around perhaps it's good to cover up with a scarf or cover-up your bracelets." He said.
Just an hour before this incident Sunnyvale's department of public safety helped Mountain View police arrest the suspect in a similar, unrelated robbery but involving a knife along Jackson Street on the city's north side.
While both investigations continue, authorities don't believe one race in particular was targeted but call each incident a crime of opportunity.
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Resident Katie says she refuses to let this disrupt her life.
"Things like this happen all the time and safe neighborhoods but we can't live in fear," she said.
The woman pushing the baby stroller suffered minor scrapes but is expected to be OK.