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Police: String of burglaries in multiple communities seem targeted toward Asian communities

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Posted at 5:31 PM, Feb 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-15 20:07:44-05

Multiple burglaries throughout several Greater Cincinnati communities appear to target the homes of Asian families, many of whom own local businesses, according to Montgomery Police.

The City of Montgomery issued a press release on Monday that said Montgomery officials believe the homeowners are being targeted based on their ethnicity "due to language barriers and cultural difference."

In West Chester, four different burglaries of homes belonging to Asian families were reported all within a 5 mile radius of one another. Another was reported in Montgomery and one more in Blue Ash, just 2.5 miles from one another. Another burglary was reported in Milford.

In Montgomery, a burglar alarm sounded when glass was broken on the home's patio on Dec. 18, 2021. Police confirmed that, despite damage on doors consistent with attempted forced entry, the burglar had not made it inside the home. Police found a crowbar nearby and a suspicious person was reported running nearby along Ronald Reagan Highway.

Two of the burglaries in West Chester were single-family homes — one was reported on Nov. 15, 2021 and the other on Feb. 5. The other two burglarized properties were apartments, one reported April 26, 2021 and the other on Jan. 11, 2021. In three of the four burglaries, police reports state the suspects forced entry into the homes.

On Dec. 21, 2021, a Milford homeowner was alerted to a break-in by her phone while she was at work, the police report said. Video of the burglary showed two people entering through the rear sliding door.

Also on Dec. 12, 2021, a neighbor living near the home burglarized in Blue Ash called police and told them multiple people tried to enter the home through the kitchen window. The victim's 14-year-old son told police he was on the second floor watching a movie when he heard a noise downstairs. When he investigated, the teen said he saw a man in a black ski mask inside the kitchen. The man ran, and the teen said he say 5 other people dressed similarly fleeing from the house as well, according to the police report.

Montgomery Police also said in their press release that homes were hit in Indian Hill and Villa Hills, Ky., but records requests for those police reports made by WCPO have not yet been filled.

The press release said many of the burglaries happened in evening hours while the victims were still at work. Homes were ransacked and most were robbed of cash, jewelry, handguns and other items like designer watches, handbags and clothing.

Montgomery officials said in the release they believe there could still be victims out there who were burglarized but have not come forward yet.

According to business filings made with the office of the Ohio Secretary of State, several of the victims whose homes were burglarized also own local businesses throughout Greater Cincinnati.

Requests for interviews with police departments in the communities burglarized were declined and no agencies outside Montgomery would say whether they are investigating the crimes as connected.