Thieves have targeted the homes of people of Indian and South Asian descent in several Massachusetts communities, looking to steal cash and expensive jewelry, District Attorney Marian T. Ryan said.
The steady stream of break-ins recently appear to happen when people are on vacation, prompting Ryan to warn residents to be extra vigilant to safe guard their homes and valuables.
“We want to get the message out that this is happening,” Ryan said in an interview with the Globe. “The thieves appear to be targeting the homes of Indian American and Asian American families that are away. They are going into the houses and finding lots of unsecured gold jewelry and cash.”
There have been at least 14 of these types of burglaries in Middlesex County cities and towns since January, Ryan said.
The burglars have struck in Lincoln, Hopkinton, Weston, Chelmsford, Burlington, and Carlisle, Ryan said.
“People should be really conscious about the kinds of information they’re giving out about when they’re going to be away, especially on social media,” Ryan said.
Valuables should be locked up in secure container that is bolted down or cannot be removed, she said.
Sudbury is among the most recent communities where the break-ins occurred, according to the department.
Sudbury police said on Tuesday that officers had reported to two such burglaries within 48 hours of each other — one on Twin Pond Lane and the other on Cudworth Lane.
In each incident, the homes were unoccupied, the burglars gained entry through second-floor windows, and the residents had just returned from vacation, Sudbury police said in a Facebook post.
“Currently, there is no connection between the residents, other than they are both of Indian descent,” the post said. “Regionally, there is an increase exhibiting similar patterns.”
Sudbury police advised vacationing residents to make their homes look like it is occupied, put interior lights on timers, install motion lights, lock all windows, including on second floors, and use alarm systems