Over 20 Asian restaurants break-ins across 11 counties; police searching for man connected to break-ins
Posted September 24, 2021 3:46 p.m. EDT
Updated September 24, 2021 6:00 p.m. EDT
Fayetteville, N.C. — Fayetteville police are searching for a man connected to at least 22 Asian restaurant break-ins spanning 11 separate towns.
Police said five Asian restaurants in Fayetteville have been broken in to since January, involving the same man.
The man's description also matches the burglar's description and methods in Fuquay-Varina, Sanford, Jacksonville, Angier, Elizabethtown, Onslow, Gastonia, Chadbourn and Angier, according to police.
The most recent incidents were at Yang Garden on Cliffdale Road and China King on Ramsey Street on Sept. 17.
The thief was seen wearing glasses in several of the break-ins and is believed to be driving a 1997 to 2001 silver or tan Toyota Camry, according to police.
While it is unclear exactly what the man's motives are, there have been a noticeable rise in crimes against members of the Asian community in America since the beginning of the pandemic.
There have been dozens of violent, unprovoked attacks against Asians and Asian Americans across the country in the past year. In response, the government passed a bill called the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act to help counteract the rise in crimes. Many experts believe the rise in hate crimes and violence against the Asian-American community is due to scapegoating for the outbreak of COVID – especially with the popularization of terms like "the China virus."
It is unclear whether the crimes against the 22 Asian restaurants are related to the pandemic; however, it does seem the break-ins are targeting the Asian community.
Anyone with information on the burglaries is asked to call Detective K. Valentine at 910-580-3699 or Crime Stoppers at 910-483-8477.