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FBI warns Asian Americans that they are being targeted by New Jersey criminal enterprises

"They are doing surveillance of their targets much like law enforcement would do, these are sophisticated criminal enterprises, where they have determined what is the best way to mitigate their chance of being detected."

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Katie Daviscourt Seattle WA
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The FBI recently sent a warning to Asian-Americans living in New Jersey, informing them that they are being targeted by criminal enterprises for robberies.

Special Agent Mike Ratta of the FBI field office in Newark said criminal groups have been burglarizing Asian-American owned businesses and homes at an increasing rate over the past three years, according to NJ 1015.

Special Agent Ratta said these criminals surveil these businesses to determine "when they open, when they close," the outlet reports.

"They may rummage through their cars to determine where they might live, then they would do surveillances at the residence as well," he said. "They would follow them to and from work and other places."

"Once they determine a pattern of life and they felt comfortable with knowing when people are coming or going, they would then begin to formulate a plan to burglarize the home," Ratta explained.

The FBI Special Agent detailed the sophistication of these criminal enterprises and said the agency believes there are numerous groups involved.

"Oftentimes they'll have a lookout in the business, they'll also have lookouts outside of the residence, and then they'll have individuals in the residence committing the burglary," Ratta said. "They are doing surveillance of their targets much like law enforcement would do, these are sophisticated criminal enterprises, where they have determined what is the best way to mitigate their chance of being detected."

The FBI issued the public warning to make community members aware that they could be targeted, the outlet reports.

As to why the FBI believes Asian-Americans are being targeted, Special Agent Ratta said, "There's been a belief that the Asian community keeps cash in their homes and that they're not utilizing traditional banks, and instead they keep their money in their residence."

The FBI encouraged Asian-American communities to install security cameras, be aware of their surroundings at all times, and to report anything they see odd or suspicious to local police.

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