Local News

Asian restaurant owners target of violent robberies across eastern NC

Posted July 10, 2014 10:43 p.m. EDT
Updated July 10, 2014 10:52 p.m. EDT

— Clayton police are visiting Asian restaurants to warn owners of a violent trend that has spread across eastern North Carolina.

“It’s an unknown group of individuals at this time who are deliberate and organized in targeting and attacking Asian restaurant business owners,” said Clayton police detective Jason Linder.

Local and county law enforcement agencies across eastern North Carolina have partnered with the State Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to investigate violent home invasion robberies involving Asian restaurant owners. Cases have been reported in Beaufort, Craven, Edgecombe, Halifax, Johnston, Lenoir, Onslow, Pitt and Wayne counties since December 2013.

The victims, which have included children, have been restrained, physically assaulted and robbed after returning home from working in area restaurants, authorities said.

One of the cases was in Clayton in April, where robbers forced their way into a home, pistol-whipped a family member and took that night’s deposit. Another robbery happened in Princeton in June.

The ATF, Craven County CrimeStoppers, Edgecombe/Nash County CrimeStoppers, Pitt County CrimeStoppers, Clayton police and Tarboro police have partnered to offer an $8,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the robbers.

Authorities on Thursday opened a hotline to obtain information – (800) 276-4533.

Linder, the Clayton detective, advises restaurant owners to be more aware of their surroundings, especially during closing time.

“Watch for individuals following you home,” he said. “Watch for individuals coming in and watching you at the restaurant. Being aware of your surroundings is key because it happens quickly.”