The uptick in robberies and home invasions in south Sacramento in recent months has the Asian American community arming themselves for protection.
Robberies, carjackings, and home invasions increased by 25% in the Meadowview neighborhood, and by 8% in the Fruitridge and Pocket area, according to police.
In October, two south Sacramento residents, both of Asian descent, were robbed at gunpoint outside their home near the Elk Grove-Florin Road corridor, CBS Sacramento reported.
“I’m very alarmed, me myself I’ve actually armed myself, I have a surveillance system, I’ve upped my security system, glass-break sensors, secured my doors,” resident Kent Tran, who has lived in south Sacramento his whole life, told the news station.
Tran, along with many grocery stores in the area, have armed themselves with weapons and stun guns to protect themselves.
“Part of the issue is the language barrier and not having the right tools to contact Police,” said Sgt. Bryce Heinlein.
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But he added that crimes against Asians in Oak Park have been relatively low due to the focused resources of the police.
“Some of those potential suspects may be shifting to other areas of the city, based on the efforts we’ve committed to that neighborhood,” Heinlein said.
The crimes are reportedly occurring mostly in residential areas with bad streetlights.
“They’re coming home and being targeted as they’re getting out of their cars, being approached from behind normally, and the suspects are armed,” Heinlein continued.
According to investigators, the spike in south Sacramento robberies revealed that armed robbers were coming up to their victims between 4 p.m. and 3 a.m. to take cash, cellphones and other belongings.
“So it’s not particularly one individual or one group of people. It’s a trend,” Sacramento police Det. Eddie Macauley told FOX40 News.
In October 2016, a similar jump in crimes was tied to thieves following the smell of pot to houses that didn’t actually have grow operations, but decided to commit robberies anyway.
However, the latest string of robberies “has nothing to do with marijuana,” said Macauley, adding that “We’re not entirely sure why this is the group that’s being victimized.”
Despite being the target of these unlawful acts, the Asian American community remains vigilant.
Sacramento officers have also taken measures to ensure safety by reminding the community that they can dial 911 and say “help Mandarin” or “help Cantonese” to get connected to a translator during an emergency.
Images via CBS Sacramento