LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — Authorities are continuing to investigate a string of burglaries at Chinese restaurants in Lynchburg and Bedford County.
Surveillance images show one of two subjects in dark-colored clothing breaking into Beijing Chinese Restaurant in Bedford around 5 a.m. on Sunday, April 11.
Before that incident, Trust Chinese Restaurant, Good Taste, and King House Chinese Restaurant were broken into overnight in Lynchburg.
Authorities say they aren’t sure if there are any connections, but neighbors and nearby business owners believe these could be targeted attacks.
Ellen Zhanz owns the deli next door to Good Taste in the Timberlake Plaza.
“I’m just a little bit nervous and a little bit shocked…” Zhanz told WFXR News. “I think it’s discrimination and something hateful in their heart. Our area is very peaceful, very nice community. That never happened here before.”
Other than occurring at Chinese restaurants, the three burglaries that happened that night have another thing in common.
According to the Lynchburg Police Department’s Community Relations Coordinator, Carrie Dungan, “In all of these burglaries, the front door of the business was broken into and the suspects stole an undisclosed amount of cash from the locations.”
Lynchburg officials say they don’t have proof to determine these were hate crimes.
“If they have something, they better talk and they’ll have a better solution than to do the violent thing. That’s not the right way to do anything about it,” Zhanz said.
Police have not been able to locate surveillance video from the Lynchburg businesses. They’re asking for anyone with information to contact them.