Two Buddhist temples and a nail salon in Philadelphia have been hit by burglaries this month, escalating concerns of increased crime targeting Asian American-owned establishments in the city.
Where they took place: The first burglary occurred at the Lao Buddhist Temple on East Chew Ave. in the city’s Olney neighborhood on Oct. 7, WPVI reported. The next incidents occurred at another Buddhist temple on Saturday and Nails in the City, a nail salon on Aramingo Ave., on Monday.
What they lost: The Lao Buddhist Temple reportedly lost thousands of dollars in donations. The second Buddhist temple and Nails in the City were robbed of undisclosed amounts.
Repeat victim: In late September, Nails in the City also made headlines after being targeted by armed robbers who shot a 43-year-old employee twice in the leg. A few hours prior, the same suspects allegedly robbed Happy Family Salon, another Asian American-owned nail salon on Girard Ave.
Community action: Around a dozen Asian community organizations are reportedly scheduled to meet next month to address the crimes. Sung Park, who is with the Pennsylvania Asian American Law Enforcement Association, told WPVI that he expects city officials to attend “so we have decision makers to make real change.”
What authorities are doing: Philadelphia police are investigating the crimes. Whether the burglaries are linked is yet to be known. So far, no arrests have been reported from either the burglaries or armed robberies. Anyone with information can submit a tip to 215-686-TIPS (8477) or [email protected].
The Lao Buddhist Temple has set up a GoFundMe page
to ask for help in upgrading its security system. While the temple has cameras, their hard drive was also stolen and has not been backed up, according to temple secretary Vicki K. Sundara.