A resurgence of robberies targeting Asian Americans has prompted the Sacramento Police Department to schedule a special community meeting Wednesday.
Robberies, carjackings and home invasions with Asian Americans as victims are up 25 percent year-to-date in District 5, home to the Meadowview and Parkway neighborhoods, and 8 percent in District 4 (Fruitridge Manor, the Pocket). They’re down 40 percent in District 6 south of Highway 50 and east of Stockton Boulevard (Elmhurst and Tahoe Park) after a 25 percent rise in violent crime from 2015 to 2016, according to Sacramento police spokesman Eddie Macaulay.
Members of the Asian-American community in south Sacramento periodically have raised alarms over the past year about a sharp surge in armed robberies in the area. In September 2016, community activists delivered a plea for help to the Sacramento City Council that was signed by 2,000 people.
The community later formed its own armed patrols organized through WeChat, a popular messaging app created in China. In April, members of the newly created Asian American Public Service Center said they planned to ask National Rifle Association representatives for proper firearm use training, a tactic denounced by police.
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A friend of Vu’s was attacked last month en route to his house in Meadowview, she said. He fought off his assailants only to have them track him to his house, where they beat him so badly he needed to be hospitalized.
Since language barriers often keep immigrants from calling for help, the Police Department will highlight its bilingual officers and broadcast Wednesday night’s meeting across foreign language broadcast media. The meeting will run from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at the department’s headquarters at 5770 Freeport Blvd.
“It’s a way we thought the department folks could reach out to a part of the community that may not necessarily be reached otherwise,” Macaulay said.
The department is urging residents to look out for one another and call 911 if they see someone suspicious. In the past, members of the Asian-American community in south Sacramento have complained that police are slow to respond.
Patrick Kennedy, a Sacramento County supervisor whose district lies outside the jurisdiction of the Sacramento Police Department, recently told The Bee that the unincorporated south Sacramento neighborhoods in his district have also seen a wave of home invasions and armed robberies targeting Asian Americans. He said at least some of these robberies appear to be targeting illegal marijuana grows.
One alleged robbery attempt turned fatal in April. Sean Huang, 46, was arrested and charged with murder in connection with a double homicide outside a marijuana grow house in April. Huang allegedly shot 18-year-old Ahjanique Hodges as she and Glen Myers, also 18, attempted to break into his operation near Fruitridge Road about 4 a.m.
Macaulay did not speculate whether the recent outdoor cannabis harvest played a role in the timing of the Police Department’s announcement Monday.
Editor’s note: This article has been updated Oct. 31 to clarify the area of District 6 examined.
If you go
What: Police meeting targeting Sacramento’s Asian American population.
When: 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday Nov. 1
Where: 5770 Freeport Blvd., Sacramento (Hall of Honor)