Pa. Asian-Americans fearful after rash of crimes

March 15, 2009 3:55:38 PM PDT
Police and Asian American community groups in the Philadelphia area have been meeting with residents worried by recent crimes, including a wave of home invasion robberies and three murders. In the home invasion robberies, the criminals staked out a business, trailed the owners home, and robbed them.

The scenario was repeated at least 14 times, including three times in a single day. The victim was always an Asian or Asian-American - and police say the criminals targeted members of the community in the belief that they would be easy marks.

Asian-American leaders dispute such a stereotype, but police warn that even the belief can make the community a target.

Authorities have made arrests in all but one of the home invasion cases, but the community has also been shaken by three unrelated murders, two of them in home invasions. Arrests have been made in both of those cases.

Police fear, however, that they are not being told about many crimes and hope residents in the meetings will report them.

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