By CITY NEWS SERVICE
TORRANCE – Torrance police are warning the public to beware of burglars who appear to be targeting victims of Asian descent.
The burglaries have occurred in recent weeks in townhomes in gated communities in the central and eastern areas of Torrance, according to Sgt. Mark Ponegalek of the Torrance Police Department.
Large sums of cash were taken from the homes as well as jewelry and designer purses, said Ponegalek in a statement. In one incident, there was an approximate $70,000 loss.
There have been no confrontations with the suspects and they usually target the home when no is present, said Ponegalek.
He described the victims as homeowners of Asian descent who own businesses outside the city. Those victims may have been followed home from work and kept large quantities of cash at home.
The suspects are described as three to four people posing as gardeners or landscape workers, police said. They were believed to be driving late model American minivans and SUVs. Police also released two photos from surveillance cameras showing suspects with wide-brimmed hats and reflective vests.
Ponegalek warned residents to watch for unfamiliar people who appear to be gardeners or delivery workers and knock on doors asking for someone by name who does not live there.
“Be aware of vehicles that pull in right after residents have entered the security gates,” Ponegalek added. “If something or someone causes you to believe criminal activity has or is about to take place, call 911.”