Seattle Police warn of spike in armed robberies targeting Asians
SEATTLE, Washington — Police are warning Seattle residents of armed teen suspects who are connected to at least 14 robberies targeting families of Asian descent in south Seattle.
According to police, the armed intruders wearing ski masks have broken into over a dozen residences and held occupants at gunpoint while stealing cash and jewelry before fleeing the scene in a stolen Kia or Hyundai getaway vehicle.
Although 13 out of the 14 victims were of Asian descent, police are not classifying the cases as hate crimes.
Areas in the following zip codes have seen an uptick in robberies:
- 98108 (South Seattle, Beacon Hill, South Park)
- 98118 (Columbia City, Rainier Valley, Hillman City, South Beacon Hill)
- 98144 (Atlantic, Judkins Park, North Beacon Hill, Mount Baker, Leschi)
- 98178 (Rainier View, Lakeridge, Bryn Mawr-Skyway, Allentown)
The suspects have typically been a group of three to seven armed teenage males who have “accosted victims outside of their homes,” forcing entry into their residences. During these robberies, the victims were assaulted or held at gunpoint.
Police cannot yet say if the robberies are gang-related as they are still under investigation. According to police, eight of the robberies have occurred in August.
In one incident captured via a doorbell camera, two armed suspects can be seen approaching and tasing an Asian man on his front porch in Beacon Hill before robbingat around 4:40 p.m. on Aug. 26.
The Seattle Police Department has shared safety tips for residents, including installing security devices, reporting suspicious activity and communicating with friends and family on who will be home and at what time.
Anyone with information regarding these home-invasion robberies is urged to contact the Violent Crime Tip Line at 206-233-5000.