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10.25.2010

two arrested in philadelphia home invasion robberies

Last week in Philadelphia, FBI agents arrested and charged two men for their involvement in a home invasion that targeted an Asian business owner back in August -- a robbery that netted nearly $200,000 cash(!) from a safe.

According to an FBI affidavit, the men told authorities they were involved in "multiple home invasion robberies of business owners who were Asian" so they'll probably be hit with several more charges: 2 arrested in August home invasion in Havertown.

Terrance Downing, 30, and Tyree Mansell, 31, both of Philadelphia, were charged with robbery and using firearms during the commission of a felony in the home invasion that occurred about 2:30 a.m. Aug. 8 in Havertown, the FBI said.

A group of masked gunmen entered the home through a rear kitchen window and demanded money from the family. The gunmen fled the home with a large amount of cash.

Family members called 911 and told police that they owned a beer distributorship in Upper Darby and that the cash in their house was from the business.

Based on information from a confidential source, the FBI said, it began tailing a gray BMW and a blue Chevrolet Impala. Agents saw men from those cars break into two Philadelphia residences.

Based on the surveillance, the FBI and Philadelphia police stopped the vehicles last Thursday and arrested Downing and Mansell, as well as two other men who were not immediately charged.

The FBI said Downing provided a written signed statement admitting to "multiple home invasion robberies of business owners who were Asian," including the one in Havertown.
Caught! In a sting operation. Early last month, authorities issued a public warning about Asian business owners being robbed because criminals believe they carry or hoard large amounts of cash. Turns out, that's exactly what these guys were doing. More here: FBI links pair to Asian home invasions.

It's interesting that these robberies have been planned and executed based on the perception that Asians have a lot of cash laying around because they don't trust banks. Whether or not that's true, Asians business owners might want to re-think that trust. Given the circumstances, it seems a lot safer to keep $200,000 in a bank vault than in your bedroom, don't you think?