Local authorities issued arrest warrants for two suspects accused of breaking into homes of Asian residents in Newton, Massachusetts, last year.
Newton Mayor Ruthanne Fuller shared the information without naming the individuals in a newsletter released Thursday. The report noted that the two men from New York City have “past histories of breaking and entering and burglary and one was found to be incarcerated in New York.”
According to Fuller, police investigation of the break-ins has been ongoing since they first started in June 2021.
The first home the suspects broke into was in the 900 block of Walnut Street on June 13. In the span of a month, there were four other break-ins, all targeting victims of Asian descent with homes on Helene Road, 700 block of Quinobequin Road and Country Club Road. The police have since released images from security videos obtained from Helene Road.
Investigators said the burglars broke into the homes in the daytime on weekends when no one was home and took mainly jewelry, cash and handbags.
Newton Police Detective Peter Koerber was able to identify the suspects by linking the break-ins to similar incidents in other states. His investigation eventually led him to New York and New Jersey.
”Day by day, he built the case until he obtained several search warrants, gathered a variety of evidence, and ultimately identified the two suspects,” wrote Fuller. “Det. Koerber presented his case to Middlesex County District Attorney Marian Ryan and the arrest warrants were issued.”
Newton Police Chief John Carmichael and Capt. Christopher Marzilli awarded Koerber a commendation for his investigative work.
“Notably, these residential breaking and entering crimes created increased fear of crime in the city, especially within our Asian community, as it appeared the homes of families of Asian descent were being specifically targeted by the perpetrator(s),” they wrote. “Your investigation revealed that this was indeed the case, thereby increasing the level of severity of these crimes to be consistent with exhibiting bias intent.”