EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — The Pennsylvania State Police are investigating a string of burglaries which are targeting the homes of Asian American restaurant owners.
PSP say to date, nearly $1 million in cash and personal property has been stolen from these residences.
Police say that the burglars seemingly operate as a team, with one lookout, two burglars who break in and enter the house to steal cash and valuables, and one getaway driver.
“While many of these crimes occurred in the northeastern part of the state, similar burglaries have been reported across the commonwealth,” said Colonel Robert Evanchick, commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police. “We want business owners to be aware of this trend and take preventive measures.”
State police say last year, eight people were federally charged with running an alleged burglary ring targeting owners of Asian restaurants. Prosecutors say the group carried out multiple burglaries in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Delaware. The accused burglars would learn where the restaurant owners lived by entering their vehicles and looking at their registration cards, installing tracking devices on their vehicles, or following them home from work, PSP stated.
Troopers believe that the burglars case the houses before robbing them, disguising themselves as landscapers or wearing yellow safety vests to determine the best time to strike.
To keep your valuables safe, the PSP advise:
- Keeping cash and valuables at home secure.
- Being conscious of individuals in your area that are not usually there.
- Installing motion sensor lights, a surveillance camera, and alarm system around your home.
- Locking your vehicle while at work and securing registration information.
- Looking out for anyone following you home.
- Reporting suspicious activity to the police.