Seattle police are warning residents of armed teen suspects who are connected to at least 14 robberies targeting families of Asian descent in south Seattle.
About the string of robberies: According to police, the armed intruders wearing ski masks have broken into over a dozen homes — primarily in the Rainier Beach, Rainier View and Beacon Hill neighborhoods — and held occupants at gunpoint while stealing cash and jewelry before fleeing the scene in a stolen Kia or Hyundai getaway vehicle.
“It’s a group of three to seven Black males in their teens. They are armed and they are targeting elderly Asians within our communities within the south precinct,” Officer Judinna Gulpan of the Seattle Police Department said, according to Fox 13.
There have been at least 14 home robberies in south Seattle since June, with eight occurring since Aug. 6. The robbers were armed with multiple handguns and at least one long gun.
Beacon Hill robbery: In one incident captured via a doorbell camera, two armed suspects can be seen approaching and tasing an Asian man on his front porch in Beacon Hill before robbing him at around 4:40 p.m. on Aug. 26.
The victim can be heard crying out in pain and falling backward after being shocked with the taser. The robbers reportedly stole his wallet, gold necklace, car keys, iPhone and rings.
At one point in the robbery, one of the robbers can be seen noticing the doorbell camera before turning it away. However, it falls back into place and continues to record the incident.
“Easy targets”: Although 13 out of the 14 victims were of Asian descent, police are not classifying the cases as hate crimes.
“Hate crimes are targeted against people because of their ethnicity and this is more about people that they think are easy targets and that’s what we are finding so far,” Lt. John O’Neil reportedly said.
Safety tips: The Seattle Police Department has shared safety tips for residents, including installing security devices, reporting suspicious activity and communicating with friends and family on who will be home and at what time.
Anyone with information regarding these home-invasion robberies is urged to contact the Violent Crime Tip Line at 206-233-5000.