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Rise in Home Burglaries Involving Asian-American Business Owners

By Barbara A. Preston | Posted August 3, 2023

The Montgomery Business Association, in partnership with the Montgomery Township Police Department, will host an information session at YaYa Noodles in the Montgomery Shopping Center, Route 206, to raise awareness of a nation-wide crime wave that targets Asian-owned businesses. The date is August 15 at 2:30 pm.

Sushi John

Sushi John, owner of the Ya Ya Noodles Asian Restaurant in the Montgomery Shopping Center.

Sergeant Brian Hofacker, a detective with the Montgomery Police Department, says there has recently been a number of burglaries of Asian-owned businesses in the area. The police department wants to reach out to Asian-owned businesses so that they can take precautions.

Over the past several months, there have been numerous residential burglaries, many of which have been at the private homes of Asian business owners who are residents of Montgomery Township and the rest of Somerset County.

The FBI New Jersey Field Office in Newark is reporting that burglary rings are casing Asian-owned businesses to learn the life patterns of the owners. Burglars will sometimes enter the business owner’s unlocked car while the victim is working. They do this to find documents that would reveal where the Asian business owners live. Other times, the burglars will follow a business owner home. Then, while the victim is at work running the business, the burglars return to the victim’s home, break in, and steal cash and valuables. The victims are targeted, in part, due to the stereotype that Asian business owners have items of high value in their homes.

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Montgomery Township Committeeman Dennis Ahn, who is also an Asian-American business owner, is going door-to-door to inform the community about the recent uptick in crime. “I’m trying to find all the businesses that may be targeted,” he told The Montgomery News. “And it’s not just the Asian-owned businesses in Montgomery, it’s also people who own businesses in other communities who live in Montgomery.

Wealthy South Asians who keep jewelry in their home also are being targeted, he says. “It’s very important for the entire community to be able to get this news,” he says. The FBI, the Montgomery Township Police Department, and the MBA want business owners to be aware of this trend.

Preventive Measures

  • Keep your car locked while at work, secure your registration.

  • Be cognizant of cars in the neighborhood that aren’t normally there.

  • Be aware of anyone who might be following you home.

  • Give thought to how you secure valuables in your house.

  • Motion-sensor lighting on the front and back of a home will help deter break-ins.

  • Install surveillance cameras.

  • Consider having a home or business alarm system installed.

  • Most importantly, victims should immediately report a crime to police.

Event Information

The event will be led by the Montgomery Township Police Department and the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office.

The purpose of this meeting will be to discuss:

• How suspects are entering homes.

• Preventative measures to keep your family and home safe.

• Sharing information with neighbors, friends, and family.

• Reporting suspicious activity and things to watch for.

• Question and answer session with police.

Date: August 15 at 2:30 pm

Location: YaYa Noodles Restaurant 1325 US HWY 206 Skillman NJ 08558.

Anyone with questions regarding this event is asked to contact Montgomery Township police at 908.874.3333 or Detective Sgt. Brian Hofacker at 908.533.9192.


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