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Newton Police Investigating String Of Break-Ins Possibly Targeting Asian Residents

NEWTON (CBS) – Newton Police are investigating a string of break-ins possibly targeting Asian residents.

Police want to identify a person who was caught on surveillance cameras at two of the five homes targeted. The break-ins happened between June 13 and July 10 on Walnut Street, Dedham Street, Helene Road, Quinobequin Road and Country Club Road.

"Probably was only here for 10, 20 minutes and went through the whole house and took what he needed," said Scott Chin, one of the people who had their house broken into. "He has something to cover it up with if someone does happen to answer the door. He'll just hand off a flyer and maybe he comes back later."

Chin wasn't home to answer the door, and the suspect found his own way in.

"He went through the back and smashed the patio door, the glass," Chin said.

All the victims have been of Asian descent.

"To know that this one seems to be a little more targeted to Asians is more concerning," said Chin.

Lieutenant Bruce M. Apotheker says it is too soon to say Asian families were targeted but it is a common denominator they are looking into.

"That's why we put out flyers in Chinese, these community advisories, and we want to make sure they are safe and everybody is safe," said Apotheker.

A Newton break-in suspect. (Image Credit: Newton Police)

Mostly jewelry, cash and handbags were taken from the homes.

Apotheker added that all of the break-ins have happened on weekend days when no one was home, and were also all forced entry incidents. He also said the suspect is walking around with a "lost pet" flyer, and it may be how he is casing these neighborhoods.

"If he came up to your house and you were in your backyard and you saw this individual, and he said he was looking for his pet. This is the individual that we want to speak. We want to hear from you," Apotheker said.

For Chin, it's not so much that his home was hit that bothers him. It's what he lost.

"Unfortunately, some of the stuff was my parents. We just lost them last year to COVID. So we were going through some of that stuff," said Chin. "A lot of stuff that can't be replaced. But luckily no one was home and no one was hurt."

Police are holding a community meeting on these break-ins with the Mayor that will be held via Zoom on Thursday night. Anyone with information should call Newton Police.

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