Arrest warrants have been issued for two men in New York City who allegedly broke into homes of people of Asian descent in Newton last summer, Mayor Ruthanne Fuller said in a newsletter to residents.
Fuller did not identify the two suspects, but said both have histories of breaking and entering and burglary. One was found incarcerated in New York, the mayor wrote Thursday.
Newton police and the Middlesex district attorney’s office were not immediately available Thursday night to confirm the information.
Newton police had been investigating the break-ins for about 10-months, Fuller said. The first home was broken into in June, and Newton Police Detective Peter Koerber began connecting the break-ins with similar ones in other locales, leading him to New York and New Jersey, Fuller wrote.
The break-ins began on June 13 in the area of the 900 block of Walnut Street, the Globe reported. There were five break-ins between June and July 13, all of the victims were of Asian descent, and the incidents all happened on weekend days while no one was home. The break-ins primarily targeted jewelry, cash, and handbags.
The break-ins included homes on Helene Road, 700 block of Quinobequin Road, and Country Club Road, the Globe reported.
Koerber was able to identify the suspects, Fuller said. Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan was notified and the arrest warrants were issued, she wrote.
Koerber was awarded a commendation for his work by Newton Police Chief John Carmichael and Capt. Christopher Marzilli.
“Notably, these residential breaking and entering crimes created increased fear of crime in the city, especially within our Asian community, as it appeared the homes of families of Asian descent were being specifically targeted by the perpetrator(s),” read the commendation, a copy of which was posted to the department’s Facebook page. “Your investigation revealed that this was indeed the case, thereby increasing the level of severity of these crimes to be consistent with exhibiting bias intent.”
Adam Sennott can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.