Three men were arrested in Plano, Texas in connection with a series of home burglaries targeting Asian Americans.
The burglars are said to have had the same M.O. for each home they target, and this pattern has been consistent from several years ago.
Evidence was found connecting suspects Yandre Rodriquez, Jose Torre-Rodriguez, and Edwin Rivera to several home burglaries in Plano as well as two other cities. The men would look for what they assumed to be an Asian household, then break into the house to steal gold jewelry and other valuables.
The most recent target was the home of Michael Hobbs, a Plano resident, who decorated his front porch and home interior with Asian-themed décor.
Police believe the statue of a Chinese dragon placed on his front porch could have lured in the criminals.
According to Hobbs, the suspects attempted to break into his home on Friday in broad daylight but took off, leaving behind a blow torch, when they saw that Hobbs had returned home.
“I called the police and they came out and they said what they were doing is they take the torch and they melt all the caulking around the window and then they use a suction device and they pull it off and that way there’s no breakage. It doesn’t trigger alarms,” he told NBC.
Although it is unclear if they targeted Hobbs’ home directly, the homeowner is upgrading his security and moving his “oriental décor” to avoid these instances in the future.
“You just feel violated,” he said. “I was just really glad they didn’t get in.”
Burglaries targeting the homes of Asian Americans are said to have spiked in several North Texas cities in 2013.
Plano police stated that this problem is national and claimed these crimes have been tracked to a group entering from Colombia, South America, but this connection has not been officially confirmed.
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