Police and federal agents are seeking the public's help identifying at least two men who have been targeting Asian business owners' homes or businesses in recent weeks.
About 3 p.m. June 17, the men burglarized a Broomall home that belongs to the owners of the House of Cheese grocery store in Southwest Philadelphia, Lt. John Walker, of Southwest Detectives said Friday. They ransacked the home and fled with cash, electronic equipment and clothing.
The burglars also stole keys to the victims' business, Walker said. About 11:50 that night, the same men burglarized the House of Cheese, at 6512 Woodland Ave., and stole the cash register and the money it held, Walker said.
Through their investigation, police now suspect that the same men were involved in two other residential burglaries of Asian business owners in Delaware County, Walker said.
On May 6, the Prospect Park home of a husband and wife who own a nail salon in Delaware County was ransacked, Walker said. Two men seen on surveillance video inside the home methodically made their way through the home, then left with electronics and clothing, he said.
Then, on May 10, police believe the same two men were involved in a burglary of a Parkside home, where the owners of a Media nail salon live, Walker said. They fled with electronics, cash and clothing, he said.
In each of the residential burglaries, the burglars shut off and stole the home's surveillance systems, but luckily for police, the Prospect Park home's surveillance system was cloud-based, so police were able to obtain video of the suspects despite the equipment having been stolen, Walker said.
The video from the Prospect Park home showed two suspects inside — both Asian, who were similarly dressed and looked like brothers, Walker said.
Police described the men as heavyset. Both were wearing gray-hooded sweatshirts, black pants and red shoes. One had on a black-and-green Eagles hat, while the other had on a black baseball hat.
Walker said in addition to the two Asian men, two other men – one white, the other whose race is not known – were also believed to have participated in the Broomall and Philadelphia burglaries.
The victims, like others in the past, were suspected to have been targeted because of the belief, sometimes incorrect, that Asian business owners keep cash in their homes, Walker said.
He said Philadelphia police are working with law-enforcement officers in Delaware County and the FBI in solving these cases.