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Gang terrorizing Indian, South Asian jewelry stores in 4 US states busted

New York, Sep 1 (IANS) A gang of 16 people that allegedly terrorized Indian and other South Asian jewelers has been arrested and charged in connection with a year-long robbery spree across four East Coast US states, according to federal officials.

They allegedly “took part in take-over style armed robberies meant to terrify and overwhelm store owners and employees”, James Dennehy, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)  Special Agent in Newark said on Wednesday. 

“Many of the victim businesses are family owned and operated,” he said.

FBI Assistant Director David Sundberg said that the items stolen were worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“Taliban Glizzy” was the alias used by one of the alleged robbers, Trevor Wright, who was charged in four of the robberies and with money laundering.

The nine jewelry shops listed in the chargesheet filed in a Washington federal court ranged from the New York suburb of Jersey City in New Jersey in the northeast through Pennsylvania and Virginia to Florida in the southeast.

The shops were described in a court document as “South Asian”, and of them, at least four could be definitely identified as run by people of Indian origin.

Court documents said that between January of last year and this year, the robbers identified South Asian jewelers and raided them armed with firearms and wearing dark clothes, face coverings and gloves.

The gang allegedly carjacked or stole vehicles to carry out the robberies, according to the chargesheet.

Although gang members were hit with a total of 19 charges none of them related to racial bias or hate even though they targeted South Asians.

Across the US gangs frequently target Indian and other Asian homes under the impression that they have large amounts of jewellery and cash.

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