Burglars in California are appearing to target the homes of Asian-Americans while posing as landscapers in a series of thefts that come amid a rise in follow-home robberies, authorities said last week.
The Torrance Police Department issued a warning on Wednesday about the similarities between multiple residential burglaries that have occurred in recent weeks in Torrance, a city in the Los Angeles Metropolitan area.
In these robberies, thieves appeared to target townhomes in gated communities where the homeowners are of Asian descent and own businesses outside of Torrance, police said, adding that the victims may have been followed home.
Police said large quantities of cash were kept at the homes.
There were three to four suspects in these incidents who all posed as gardeners or landscapers, according to authorities. Police released two photos of suspects wearing wide-brimmed hats and reflective vests.
The suspects were believed to be driving American-made, late model minivans and SUVs.
The warning comes amid a rise in follow-home robberies in Los Angeles County. A Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) spokesperson told Fox News last week that follow-home robberies seem to be “popping up everywhere” in the city.
The LAPD announced in mid-November that it is investigating more than 110 robberies involving at least six different street gangs in which the victims were followed home. The LAPD had issued a warning regarding the “follow-home robberies” earlier in November after a series of incidents.
The department later developed a “Follow Home Task Force” in response to the ongoing crime trend after one such robbery ended in a homicide Nov. 23.