Howard police investigating connections in burglaries targeting homes owned by Asians

Howard police investigating connections in burglaries targeting homes owned by Asians

A series of burglaries in Howard County has police investigating possible connections between one or more groups that are targeting homes owned by residents who are Asian.

Last month, police began investigating nine burglaries throughout the county, which started in January, said Howard police spokeswoman Sherry Llewellyn. In each incident, burglars broke into homes, stealing jewelry and cash.

Similar burglaries were reported between 2012 and 2014 in Maryland, she said, where the homes of Asian residents, particularly people who are Korean and Indian, were targeted.

"There have been no other significant trends in Howard," Llewellyn said.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Eastern District of Virginia, a recent case followed dozens of burglaries committed by four Colombian nationals across five states, including Maryland, Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky and Missouri, between 2010 and 2013. During many of the burglaries, the men, who claimed to live in Huston, Texas, targeted the homes of residents who were Asian, Indian and Middle Eastern.

Llewellyn said Howard police assisted with investigating one of those burglaries in Montgomery County in April 2014.

As investigations continue in Howard County, police are reminding residents to avoid keeping large amounts of cash or valuables inside their homes and to keep doors and windows locked. Llewellyn said residents should be aware of their surroundings and call police if they see anything suspicious.

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