Two separate crimes against refugees in Akron has police searching for the criminals

Posted at 7:14 PM, Apr 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-25 20:07:17-04

Akron police are searching for a group of young men responsible for both a robbery and home invasion.

The two crimes happened within a few blocks of each other and just 12 hours apart.

Saturday afternoon, police said four Nepali refugees were walking on Berwin and Norman Streets in Akron's North Hill neighborhood. That's when police said one man approached the group, showed a gun and demanded their purses. Police said the victims didn't understand what was happening. One woman was fighting back and that's when she was hit in the head with the gun.

Twelve hours later and in the same neighborhood a home invasion. It happened at two o'clock Sunday morning on East Mildred Avenue. Eight people including a 3-year-old child were inside when five men kicked down the door.

"I heard a noise and someone screaming," said Ehdah Po, who was inside the home sleeping. "They kicked in the door," she said.

Police said the thieves went back to the home on Monday and grabbed a lock box that they spotted during the home invasion on Monday. Tuesday, Po and other relatives cut down bushes in the yard and put up video cameras on the house for security.

Just last month, the Summit County Prosecutors office rolled out billboards and bus placards last month to try and reach crime victims that speak other languages. "Our victim’s campaign has signs and billboards in Arabic, Nepali, and Spanish," said Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh.

Akron police are still look for the men involved in both crimes but do believe they are connected.