Violent thieves targeting Asian restaurants hit at least 14 locations, police say

Police are urgently searching for a group of thieves targeting Asian restaurants and Asian-owned businesses.

The group has hit at least 14 businesses so far across at least three counties.

Since Channel 2 Action News first broke the story last week, police have reported six more robberies -- and say they are only getting more violent.

Channel 2's Christian Jennings is in Morgan County, where police say thieves pistol-whipped a 90-year-old employee at the Happy China on June 10 in Madison.

The group also struggled with another employee in a wheelchair and shoved a female employee to the ground so hard she ended up in the hospital for several days, police reports said.

Customers were still in the restaurant when the thieves came in last week.

"It's just awful. I hate to see that," customer Lamar Lawrence said. "Just no need. These are good people."

Earlier this month, the same group of thieves hit the Wings House in Conyers.

Jennings spoke to employees who said they wondered if they would make it home alive when two masked men with guns rushed in through the back door.


"We were trying to close the business that day," an employee told Jennings. "So I told him to just take all the money."

The woman said she is just thankful her children weren't there at the time of the robbery. They usually are.

Police say on many occasions during these robberies, employees are struck with guns.

Jennings spoke with another employee at the Hong Kong Buffet in Loganville, who said she was beaten and pistol-whipped.

"I tried to fight him, but he's a guy. He's strong," she said.

Police believe the same crew committed all 14 robberies in counties including Morgan, Gwinnett, Rockdale, DeKalb and Newton since March.

Jennings confirmed that the FBI is now involved in trying to track down the thieves.

No arrests have been made and police haven't released a description of the suspects.

"It's getting worse and worse, so I hope police catch them as soon as possible," one employee said.