Police arrest man they say stole purses from women of Asian descent

SEATTLE — Seattle Police arrested a man who allegedly stole purses from a more than dozen women in the last six weeks, most of whom were of Asian descent.

SPD said its Bias Crime Unit is investigating.

Surveillance video on April 28 from Lam’s Seafood Market showed a shopper putting groceries in her car when 26-year-old James Clifford Credit ran up to her, stole her purse, and jumped into the passenger seat of a getaway car, police said.

Seattle Police said they have linked Credit to 14 thefts since early April, adding that rental cars with licensed plates removed were used in some of the thefts.

Police arrested Credit Tuesday at a rental car office, and said he had a gun, which is illegal because he is a convicted felon.

“We’re going to be finding these people and holding them accountable,” said Detective Patrick Michaud of SPD.

Seattle Police said members of the Asian community have been understandably reluctant to report crimes, but that victims coming forward have made all the difference in these cases.

“Without that information we wouldn’t even have been able to make an arrest like this,” Michaud said.

A judge ordered Credit held on $250,000 bail for investigation of unlawful possession of a firearm.