Police say they're seeing burglaries of Indian-American and Pakistani-American households by burglars who are well-organized and seem to be familiar with cultures from the Subcontinent.
Norwalk Police are asking people of Indian and Pakistani descent to take steps to protect themselves from break-ins, especially since in some cases the burglars appear to know when families are away from home.
Gold jewelry, diamond jewelry and cash are particular targets of the burglars, according to the news release.
Police said last week that in one burglary, on Dry Hill Road, reported to police at 8:43 p.m. on New Year's Eve, expensive electronic items were left behind. The residents weren't immediately sure what had been taken.
The detective bureau decided to look for all possible evidence at the scene, including DNA swabs, foot impressions, fingerprints and every other possible way to get evidence, police said.
This isn't the first time in the past few years that homes of Indian-Americans and Pakistani-Americans in Norwalk have been targeted by burglars, police have said.
In the past, other cities and towns in Fairfield County have seen similar parterns in which burglars appear to be targeting the same groups. The New York City Police Department at one point created a task force
Here's the full text of the news release:
The Norwalk Police Department Detective Bureau is seeing an increase in residential burglaries that specifically target Indian and Pakistani families. The perpetrators appear to be well organized and have an understanding of the Indian and Pakistani cultures.
They seem to be aware of when the families are not at home and take advantage of the fact that these homes either have no alarm systems or have systems that are not activated. Some homes have been burglarized more than once.
The group is stealing primarily gold jewelry, diamond jewelry and cash. They are taking the time necessary to uncover hiding places in the homes and leaving little evidence of their identities.
While burglaries cannot always be prevented, it is possible to make your home a less likely target. Therefore, the Norwalk Police Department is making the following recommendations:
- Do not use social media sites to inform others of when you will be away from home.
- Do not share this information with those who do not need to know.
- Always lock your doors and windows.
- Always activate your burglar alarm, even if you will only be away for a short time.
- If possible, install a security video system.
- Do not keep large amounts of jewelry or cash in your home. Use safe deposit boxes to protect your valuables. Do not rely on hiding places in your home.
- Be mindful of strange phone calls and unknown people who show up at your door. They may be checking to see if anyone is home.
- Notify the police of any suspicious incident. Anyone with information regarding these crimes or having questions is asked to contact Detective Jim Thompson at 203-854-3184.
Norwalk Police Department Contact Info:
- Norwalk Police Tip Line at 203-854-3111
- Anonymous Internet tips can be sent to Norwalk Police website at: www.norwalkpd.com
- Anonymous text tips can be submitted by typing "NPD" into the text field, followed by the message, and sending it to CRIMES (274637).