Asian business owners targeted in Upper Darby

UPPER DARBY, Pa. - August 19, 2010

Upper Darby police say in the last month the owners of three 69th Street area businesses have been followed home and their houses robbed by armed men.

Police Superintendant Michael Chitwood says the three have one thing in common, all are Asian.

"There's a gang and they're breaking into their home at 2:00, 3:00 in the morning, when you catch them the big thing is they always believe they have a ton of money home," Chitwood said.

The Upper Darby businesses owners targeted include a beer distributor on 69th Street, one on Market and a nail salon also on 69th.

The owner of the nail salon said his family was terrorized when they were followed home.

"They showed me a knife and a gun, my family is traumatized, they couldn't sleep at night," the owner said.

The salon owner says he's angry that hard working people are being targeted

"You come to America for an opportunity and a better life, why don't they get jobs like everybody else?" the owner said.

Early yesterday morning there was a home invasion of an Asian business owner in Radnor and, while this is not Chitwood's territory, he says police share information because the motives and the targets are similar

"You get a street thug from Philadelphia or Upper Darby, they're just not picking these houses at random, they're picking them out as targets, and that's what they're doing," Chitwood said.

Police say the home invasions are fueled in part by the belief that Asian businesses owners don't use banks. Whether or not that's true, Chitwood says he's concerned one of these crimes will end up in a murder.

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