HENRICO COUNTY, Va. – Henrico Police Department said they have noticed a recurring trend of home burglaries involving Asian business owners.
At least two incidents have been reported in the last month, according to a flyer sent to members of the Asian community.
“Please note that Henrico Police are working to conduct investigations, locate suspects and make arrests for these crimes,” the flyer reads.
Virginia Asian Chamber of Commerce executive director My Lan Tran highlighted a recent act of vandalism after someone painted hateful messages on the side of an Indian restaurant in Henrico’s West End.
“The property was spray-painted with abusive language around their facility, including the building, dumpster and fence,” said a Henrico Police spokesman.
In light of the recent incidents, Tran was inspired to organize a public safety meeting for her community.
The chamber will host a networking dinner and public safety summit on Tuesday night to offer Asian business owners the tools to protect themselves and their property.
“The bad people would come to the homes of Asian business owners knowing they were carrying cash or had money, so they followed them to their house,” Tran explained. “We believe that if public safety is not at the forefront of this image today, we will lose a lot of sales and job creation by the Asian American community. Therefore, it is important to ensure their public safety.”
Tran said state and local law enforcement agencies will present safety tips alongside the FBI, which offers hate crime awareness training.
“Things like this take the work of a village to work together. The police themselves cannot do the job alone,” she said.
Henrico Police was a recipient of a 2021-2022 Hate Crimes Grant Program sponsored by the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services.
A portion of the grant will enable Henrico Police to provide off-duty law enforcement officers to provide security in locations reasonably believed to be targets of hate crimes.
The Public Safety Summit will be held from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Boil Bay Cajun Restaurant at 1321 Carmia Way in Chesterfield
Police have offered these crime prevention tips to help reduce your chances of becoming a victim:
- Check for suspicious activity on your commute to and from work. Change up your routine. Go at different times and take different routes. Report suspicious activity by calling 911 or our non-emergency number 501-5000.
- Walk around your house looking for weak points. This could include unlocked windows or doors, poor lighting, overgrown shrubbery for hiding places, etc. The Henrico Police Department offers free home security checks to residents in the county. To schedule a home security audit, call the Community Services Unit at 501-4838 or email [email protected]
- Most burglaries happen when the homeowners are away. Create the illusion that you are at home. Leave lights or TV on. These can be set on timers or set up remotely via your phone or home security system.
- Do not leave large sums of money, jewelry or other items of great value in your home unsecured. If you leave these items in your home, invest in a home safe that can be floor mounted for added security.
- Invest in a camera system and make sure it’s powered on and working properly.
For additional assistance or to speak to the Community Officer for your neighborhood, call the Community Services Unit at 501-4838.