Burglars in San Francisco are striking during daylight hours and targeting certain homes, those displaying Asian characters or decorations.
The Portola district is one of several in the city that has seen many of these types of burglaries.
And in the Ingleside District, there have been up to 15 home break-ins so far this year.
"There's a perception that the Asian community doesn't necessarily trust banks," said San Francisco police Capt. Daniel Mahoney. "So the perception is that Asians showcase and store inside the home (and some believe they’ll also have gold and jade)."
Mahoney said in several cases of arrests, the burglars have been groups of three young men.
"I do worry about safety," said Candy Wong, who moved into the Portola District a few months ago.
She said she heeds police warnings not to display any Asian decorations outside her home, because she’s aware of Chinese cultural stereotypes.
"I do not do that. I don't have any jewelry or cash," Wong said.
Police also said that in several incidents, an elderly person was home when the thieves knocked on the door but didn't answer, so they broke in thinking the home was unoccupied.
"If someone knocks on your door, let them know somebody's there,” Mahoney said. “Don't open the door for them. Call the police.”
Police said call out or make some sort of noise because burglars will usually move on if they know someone is home.
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