DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – A CrimeStoppers reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest or arrests in connection with a string of robberies and burglaries targeting Asian small business owners in Durham.
Police said the incidents have occurred at the homes of owners of businesses such as nail salons and restaurants. The home invasions have been committed at various times of the day and night by two to five armed males.
Police said the suspects in the robberies are usually wearing masks.
Some of the victims involved were assaulted by the suspects. Police said the incidents typically occurred as the victims were getting home or a short time after getting home.
Anyone with information is asked to call Durham CrimeStoppers at (919) 683-1200. CrimeStoppers pays cash rewards for information leading to arrests in felony cases and callers never have to identify themselves.
The Durham Police Department is providing the following safety tips:
• Be aware of your surroundings. Be aware of what is happening around you at all times. Call 911 to report any suspicious person or activity.
• Call 911 if you suspect you are being followed.
• Don’t flash large sums of cash, jewelry or other expensive items. They attract unwanted attention and may give a potential robber his target.
• Don’t carry large amounts of cash and don’t keep large amounts of cash at your residence.
• Travel in groups if possible. Avoid isolated areas, short cuts and deserted parking lots.
• If you have to use isolated areas, such as when you leave work late, have someone walk with you to your car.
• If you see someone suspicious, walk away. Go to an area where there are other people, bright lights or a telephone.
• Call 911 as soon as possible after the robbery. Provide the dispatcher with as much information as possible and stay on the phone until instructed to hang up. You’ll be asked to provide the five “Ws” – who, what, when, where and weapon.
• Limit access to the area where the crime occurred in case evidence such as fingerprints might be obtained.
• As soon as possible after calling the police, write down a description of the robber(s), weapons used and the means of escape.