SOUTH ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) – Vietnamese immigrants who live on South Grand Boulevard say crime, specifically robberies, are becoming too common near their homes.
Many residents say robberies have increased on Grand between Meramec and Chippewa, and some have been present during the crimes.
“I heard a loud ‘yelp’ for help, and I ran out,” said the owner of International Foods, on the 3900 block of Grand, south of Chippewa. Another witness, who asked to remain anonymous, said her uncle was a witness to one of the robberies. “I just don’t want this to happen to our people,” the woman said. “It shouldn’t happen to anyone.”
One resident believes while the victims are Vietnamese, they are not being targeted because of their race.
“It’s easier for them [residents] to carry cash than credit cards,” said Tristana Pham, a resident in the area. She believes the reason crime is increasing is because thieves know that many people in the area are probably carrying cash.
“For me, I think it’s mainly because of the bus stop we have,” said the owner of International Foods. He thinks anyone waiting by the bus could easily become a target.
St. Louis Police say no robberies were reported in January. If they do continue to happen, authorities want the victims to call police. The Department also says it communicates with immigrant communities using a variety of resources including officers who speak different languages and can assist with language barriers.