Philadelphia police looking for group accused of targeting Asian businesses in burglary spree

Philadelphia burglars Asian businesses
  • Philadelphia police are looking for burglars who have allegedly targeted Asian businesses in the city and the neighboring Cheltenham Township in Montgomery County.
  • Employees at a deli that fell victim to one of the burglaries said most of the targeted stores were Asian.
  • The suspects, who were mostly caught on surveillance cameras, typically attacked in the early hours of the morning when the stores were still closed.
  • One business suffered a total loss of $21,000 after three suspects broke gambling machines and cash registers.

Authorities are looking for a group of burglars who have allegedly targeted Asian-owned businesses in parts of Philadelphia and Montgomery County in Pennsylvania.

The burglaries, which took place in the 14th District, 35th District and Cheltenham Township, typically occurred in the wee hours of the morning while the stores were still closed.

Among the targeted businesses were an H Mart at 6201 N. Front St., Front Street Deli at 5501 N. Front St. and Cottman Mart at 541 Cottman Ave.

The first of the burglaries occurred at around 4 a.m. on Jan. 24 and involved a business located at 6200 N. Broad St.

Suspects in the Jan. 24 burglary at 6200 N. Broad St.

Image via Philadelphia Police Department

Police said three male suspects smashed a side window to gain entry. Once inside, they broke into multiple gambling machines and forced cash registers to open.

A surveillance video of the incident reportedly shows the suspects using tools to access the machines. The business suffered an estimated total loss of $21,000.

The suspects in other incidents were also caught by surveillance cameras. In the H Mart burglary, a suspect can be seen using a large crowbar to gain entry.

In the Cottman Mart case, images of the suspects were captured before the store’s electricity was cut off.

Employees at Front Street Deli pointed out the pattern in the string of burglaries. “We know that most of the owners are Asian,” one told CBS Philly.

Another said, “It seems like they’re targeting minorities just because of English and their language barrier.”

Surveillance camera captured two males who occupied a vehicle that drove past and then behind Cottman Mart just before the burglary.

Image via Philadelphia Police Department

Philadelphia police have not confirmed whether the burglars specifically targeted Asians, but they grouped the cases together “based on victimology, description of offender and modus operandi.”

Investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information on these burglaries is urged to call 215-686-TIPS (8477) or submit a tip online.

Featured Image via Philadelphia Police Department

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