Asian Americans are being targeted in West Chester, says township trustee

Published: Mar. 10, 2023 at 11:03 PM EST|Updated: Mar. 12, 2023 at 11:07 AM EDT
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BUTLER COUNTY, Ohio (WXIX) - Police reports show a house in West Chester has been burglarized multiple times, leading one West Chester Township trustee to conclude specific groups of people are being targeted.

West Chester police reports show the same house was burglarized in September 2022 and February 2023.

The burglary investigation remains open, and no arrests have been made, according to township spokesperson Barb Wilson.

Leo Chan, executive director of the Midwest USA Chinese Chamber of Commerce, says he’s happy officers have added additional patrols. At the same time, he says this type of crime needs to be talked about more.

“It’s absolutely targeted, there’s no doubt about it, because we have already received reports on similar cases that are targeting Asian American business owners, particularly the restaurant owners,” Chan said Friday.

Chan believes there’s an upward trend in crime rates targeting Asian Americans.

“It’s very hurtful, to be honest with you,” he said.

Township trustee Lee Wong says the burglary victim is the owner of a local Chinese restaurant and that she’s actually been burglarized three times in the same house.

The victim says the suspects stole cash and jewels that had been passed down through her family, among other items.

She spoke on the condition of anonymity with Wong translating.

“She felt very bad about this, and her heart still aches thinking about this,” he said.

Chan says restaurant owners often spend 12-15 hours per day at work, which is why their empty homes often become targets for criminals. The victim says she believes the suspects targeted her assuming she would have a lot of cash at home, though she admits business is not as strong as it used to be.

“This brings a lot of disruption to the community,” Wong said.

Chan says people within the Asian American community tend not to speak up when it comes to crime.

“It’s partially culture,” he said. “I think that’s the number-one reason why we’re not that vocal about hatred, crimes and other atrocities that are targeted toward us.”

Chan says that’s why he’s so passionate about being a voice to many in the community.

Asked what will happen if the crimes continue, Wong answered, “One thing is that people who are diverse move out and move somewhere else where it’s safer, and I sure don’t like to see that.”

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