Thieves possibly targeting victims of specific ethnicity in St. - KMOV.com

Thieves possibly targeting victims of specific ethnicity in St. Louis area

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MARYLAND HEIGHTS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

Police believe thieves are targeting victims of south Asian background in the St. Louis area.

Police said a group of thieves recently stole from an Indian family in Maryland Heights. Authorities said someone kicked in the door of Hema Patel's home and took electronics and gold jewelry. Patel said the gold jewelry is the key to understanding the crime.

“I think I'm the third Patel house that's been broken into in the last month,” Patel said.'

Police said criminals are researching common Indian last names and breaking into homes, stealing gold jewelry. Authorities said the same crime was carried out in Des Peres and Wildwood. It is unclear if the same culprits are behind those burglaries and the break-in at Patel's home.

“It (profiling) is a strong possibility. Whenever you focus on a distinct last name of heritage or a descent, that's definitely called profiling,” said St. Louis County Police Officer Shawn McGuire.

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