Asian business owners targeted in violent armed robberies

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A pattern of armed robberies is targeting businesses and their owners in Philadelphia.

Police believe the same suspects have broken into 12 storefronts, with the most recent crime happening Monday morning.

Investigators say the suspects are targeting Asian business owners - in particular, those business owners who live above their commercial establishments.

Police have released surveillance video of two of the armed suspects wanted for a dozen home invasion commercial burglary since May, including Shui Fang Yuang's home on the 6000 block of Master on July 28th. The suspects broke into Yuang's restaurant. Then made their way upstairs and startled awake Yuang, her husband and daughter

Yuang explains that she told the suspects, "Don't touch me or my husband. OK? I will give you all my money."

She says the suspects struck them in the head with guns and made off with $3,000 in cash and other valuables.

Philadelphia Police Lt. John Walker tells us, "They are targeting between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m. in the morning. Of the 12, there's only one that happened at 3 o'clock in the afternoon."

Investigators believe there are as many as four suspects. One has a distinctive tattoo on the back of his neck that may say "Felicia" and also a tattoo on his forearm that possibly says "52nd for life."

The criminals have been seen fleeing the crime scenes in a 2004 to 2009 silver Nissan Quest and 2012 black Dodge Caliber.

Roughly 150 people gathered in Chinatown on Monday to be briefed by police.

Lt. Walker says, "We're just asking business owners to please be alert, be aware. Try your best to cooperate with the individuals when they come in - just give them what they want, do not resist. And notify the police right away."

While many of the victims have either been punched or hit in the head with handguns, no one has been seriously injured.
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