An Asian American couple who owns a restaurant in Hyattsville, Maryland was robbed on Thursday night outside their home in Fairland. Two men with knives confronted them and stole their purse containing money from their business, reports WUSA9. Montgomery County Police believes the suspects followed the couple from the business knowing they had money. This is the third crime in the area where Asian American business owners were followed home from their business and robbed. It is unclear if the two suspects in the most recent robbery are the same suspects who robbed the prior two victims.
The first incident occurred in the 4th District on January 7 around 10:50 pm. The female owner of an Asian takeout restaurant in Takoma Park arrived home from work when three Black male suspects confronted her. One of the suspects hit her on the head and stole her purse. Inside her purse were her car keys and cash from her restaurant.
A witness to the crime tried to help the woman but one of the suspects aimed a gun at him and stole his wallet. After, the three men fled the scene.
On February 7th, the woman’s vehicle was carjacked outside her restaurant during the day. Investigators believe the suspects who stole her purse with the car keys used the stolen keys to steal her silver SUV.
On February 16th, around 9 pm, a woman who owned an Asian restaurant in Silver Spring was rear-ended by the stolen silver SUV while she was driving home. When she got out to check the damage to her car, two men got out of the other car and threw her to the ground. One suspect held a handgun to her while the other went through her car and stole her purse which contained money from her business. She described the men as Hispanic.
The next day police recovered the stolen silver SUV at an area near the second robbery.
Police believe the suspects knew the business owners would be carrying cash late at night and that’s why they were targeted.
“We believe the suspects followed these business owners from their business to their homes,” Montgomery County Police Department spokesperson Rebecca Innocenti said. “They clearly know, they’re doing their homework about these businesses so we’re asking businesses to be mindful and on high alert.”
Police are advising business owners to avoid carrying cash if they can and change up their deposit routines. Investigators said they have no evidence these were hate crimes.