COBB COUNTY, Ga. - A warning to members of the Asian-Indian community ... you are being targeted. Police say 50 percent of the home burglaries in East Cobb, the victims are members of the Asian-Indian community.
"The Asian-Indian community often has gold jewelry, gold trinkets. It's part of their tradition, their culture. These burglars know they can take that jewelry and sell it easily on the black market," said Cobb County Police Lt. Nathan McCreary.
At a community forum Thursday night, Police said the thieves behind the crimes are members of a South American Theft Gang. Investigators say they're sophisticated, they know what they're doing and they live among us for a few weeks or sometimes months.
"Some of them have military training and tactics, some have even been trained in our military, and they use these tactics to surveil victims, they know when they're at home or away, what their lunch schedule is like," said Lt. McCreary.
In some cases, police say crooks have followed business owners to their homes.
"When they were talking about how sophisticated they were, that's a bit scary to hear," said Cobb County resident Sumana Moudgal.
"It's really sad when we heard that, we can't do anything, they're specifically hit us because of the cash and jewelry. They think we all have cash and jewelry but we don't we're just like everyone else," said Cobb County resident Taz Riaz.
Police warned everyone to lock up their jewelry and cash and don't advertise on social media when you're going to be out of town. For business owners, or anyone else, police say if you feel like you're being followed, call 911.