Sheriff, FBI investigating crimes targeting Asian, Indian busine - FOX Carolina 21

Sheriff, FBI investigating crimes targeting Asian, Indian business owners in Greenville Co.

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Map of burglaries targeting business owners (file/FOX Carolina) Map of burglaries targeting business owners (file/FOX Carolina)
Will Lewis holds press conference (June 22, 2017/FOX Carolina) Will Lewis holds press conference (June 22, 2017/FOX Carolina)
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Greenville County sheriff Will Lewis said investigators have seen a rash of burglaries targeting Indian and Asian business owners.

Lewis, his deputies, and now the FBI, are working to catch the suspects behind the nine incidents since May 23.

The sheriff said each of the burglaries were to the homes of Indian and Asian business owners while they were at work. All of the victims own restaurants with the exception of one nail salon owner.

During one incident, Lewis said a man was injured after exiting his home to find three armed males in his yard. The suspects were described as being in their 20s and wearing all black, one of whom was wearing a ski mask.

The suspects forced the victim back into his home, struck him multiple times and stole cash from the residence, according to Lewis.

This home invasion was the only incident were one of the victims was injured.

The incidents have been widespread throughout the county, Lewis said, but have occurred in pairs. He said the theft of cash and jewelry seems to be the motive behind the burglaries, but the reason why these specific victims have been targeted remains unclear.

Burglaries occurred at the following locations:

  • Roanoke Way, Greenville
  • Hedgewood Terrace, Greer
  • Hampton Court, Greenville
  • Annabelle Court, Greer
  • Leatherton Way, Greenville
  • Sovern Drive, Greenville
  • War Admiral Way, Greenville
  • Mansfield Lane, Greer
  • Mansfield Lane, Greer

Lewis issued a message to Asian and Indian business owners, asking them to be aware of their surroundings and report suspicious activity.

"I don't want you to be paranoid but I want you to be observant," Lewis said. "I want you to pay attention to what's going on around you."

Lewis encouraged anyone with information about the incidents to contact Crime Stoppers with 23-Crime.

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