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Family believes home invasion burglars targeted Asian small business owners

Posted at 10:21 PM, May 02, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-02 23:21:33-04

GREEN BAY (NBC26) — The victims of a February home invasion on Green Bay's west side believe they were targeted because they are Asian small business owners. We are protecting their identity because the case is still open.

  • A family that owns a grocery store in Green Bay says their case is similar to one Wednesday in the Town of Algoma in Winnebago County, which NBC 26 also covered Thursday:
    • Approximately $100,000 of jewelry and cash were taken
    • The burglary occurred in the middle of the afternoon
    • Burglars entered through a back door
  • The store clerk wants to warn other small business owners to install security cameras at their homes and tip off neighbors to their habits
  • Green Bay Police say they are investigating the case, but did not say if it was connected to the Winnebago County burglary
  • Video shows the store clerk speaking about the family's experience

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

A family believes they were the targets of a home invasion because they're Asian small business owners.

We're in Green Bay with their story.

We've protecting the victim's identity because the case is still open.

The woman I spoke with works part-time at her parents' grocery store.

That's where they were when someone broke into their west-side Green Bay home in February.

"They took the real silver and gold jewelry and left the fake jewelry," the store clerk said, "so they seem to know what they were looking for."

She says around $100,000 of cash and jewelry were taken from a safe.

The burglars, she says, went in through a back door, in broad daylight.

"From what investigators have told us, it was in the middle of the day," she said.

Aspects she says are similar to a case in the Town of Algoma Wednesday — another home burglary.

"I feel like there's a lot of evidence that is similar from our case compared to their case," she said. "I feel like there is some relation."

The Winnebago County Sheriff's Office is investigating the other burglary.

They say they've learned of a criminal network in the U.S. that targets Asian jewelry store owners.

The burglars, investigators say, follow owners home, and then break in later.

The store clerk in Green Bay says she doesn't know if their case is connected to any criminal network, but still wants to warn others.

"I do want to be proactive and make sure that we are keeping our small business owners here safe, in the Asian community and the community in general," she said.

She says her family was surprised they were targeted.

"Get security cameras, and talk to your neighbors," the clerk said. "Make sure that your neighbors understand your schedule and understand the type of people that come in and out of your house so that they're aware of who looks suspicious or not."

Green Bay Police say this case is open and under investigation, but would not say whether it had any connection to the case in Winnebago County.