ATLANTA - Federal authorities believe it is just a matter of time until a violent robbing crew hits what investigators believe will be the eleventh Asian-owned business in the metro Atlanta area within the past two months.
Agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation said the longest between the violent takeover-style robberies has been five days. As of Tuesday, it has been four days since their last brutal holdup.
Video released of their last robbery on Friday is extremely hard to watch. Investigators believe it is their tenth robbery so far. It happened at the New You Massage on Holcomb Bridge Road in Roswell. The video shows three men entering the spa, posing as customers, which has been their modus operandi, but then they pull out guns before robbing all the employees and customers. The video also shows the robbers beating the employees even though they were complying with their demands.
The violence involved in each robbery is why the Federal Bureau of Investigation is involved in the case. It’s something investigators just do not typically see.
"Last week they hit twice. We fully expect to see them hitting again and we expect that other individuals will get hurt," said FBI Special Agent Steven Emmett.
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, 10 armed robberies targeting Asian business owners took place between October 7 and November 10 at various hours of the day. In some of the robberies, the suspect shot the victims, including one woman who was shot in the back.
Investigators know one of the robbers is left-handed and wears a gold watch. He as a tattoo under his right eye and a notable tattoo on the left portion of his neck. Both men are described to be around 5'10" with slim builds and are believed to be in their late teens to mid-twenties.
The robbers were seen in a red or maroon 2004 to 2008 Pontiac Grand Prix with a temporary tag on it, according to the FBI. Investigators consider the suspects to be extremely dangerous.
"They should not be protected by the public. they're doing a lot of harm, the emotional trauma, to these victims is tremendous. we just need help identifying them," said Emmett.
The FBI said the other businesses robbed are:
- Spring Spa, 1996 Manchester Street Northeast, 1:12 a.m. on October 7
- Cedar Massage, 6035 Bakers Ferry Road, 10:12 p.m. on October 10 (read more)
- Ql Clay Sauna, 7130 Buford Highway, 11:19 p.m. on October 13
- Lush Nails and Spa on Northside Parkway, 7:42 p.m. on October 20 (read more)
- Kochi Maru in Doraville, 5808 Buford Highway, 11:20 p.m. on October 24
- Palm Beach Tan, 2770 Lenox Road, 7:53 p.m. on October 29
- Royal Massage in Norcross, 3375 Holcomb Bridge Road, 7 p.m. on November 3
- Empress Massage in Duluth, 1960 Day Drive, 8 p.m. on November 8
- BD Spa and Wellness Massage, East Park Place Boulevard in Stone Mountain, 8:50 p.m. on November 8
On the October 13 robbery, at Ql Clay Sauna, one of the robbers struck an employee twice in the head with his handgun, the FBI said. At Lush Nails and Spa, the robbers are accused of striking an employee as well as a customer who was standing near the cash register.
Two customers were shot in the leg during the October 24 robbery at Kochi Maru. One of the shooting victims said she did not understand why the men opened fire, striking her and a friend in their legs.
"It's very, very painful. I see too much red. I worry. I just worry," said the woman, who uses the American name Grace.
Another customer was struck in the head with a handgun at BD Spa and Wellness Massage.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers Atlanta at 404-577-8477.