Gwinnett County

Man convicted of terrorizing Asian families in Gwinnett, DeKalb, breaking into their homes

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — A Gwinnett County jury has convicted a man of breaking into the homes of several Asian restaurant owners and employees between March and June 2019.

Prosecutors say Emmanuel Rakestraw and at least three others followed their victims from Asian restaurants to their homes in Gwinnett and DeKalb counties before either attacking them or breaking into their homes later.

Channel 2′s Christian Jennings began reporting on this trend of break-ins when they were happening in June 2019.

According to Gwinnett County District Attorney Patsy Austin-Gaston, a group of suspects broke into a home with a 13-year-old Asian child inside and stole thousands of dollars in late March 2019.

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Her office says that a few months later, an Asian restaurant owner was followed home and robbed at gunpoint in his driveway. The family left for a few days in fear of their safety. When they came home, they found their house had been broken into.

In a third incident in June 2019, the armed suspects broke into a home with an Asian family, including several elderly people and children as young as two years old, inside.


Prosecutors say they found Rakestraw’s fingerprints on one of the scenes and got surveillance footage of a car associated with him leaving one of the scenes. They say his internet searches and text messages helped incriminate him.

Rakestraw was arrested in June 2019 and his trial began earlier this month. Last week, he was found guilty of two counts of home invasion, three counts of burglary, two counts of armed robbery and two counts of aggravated assault.

A sentencing date has not been set.

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