New York: Several Indian-American families living in the New Jersey area have been robbed following the festival of Diwali, triggering fear among the community for their safety.
Rajesh Singh said in a report in PIX 11 that after Diwali robbers came into their house, "tied" his family up and took "away whatever we had".
"It all happened after Diwali, these incidents that we're talking about," said Singh, a father of three.
The Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office is handling the investigation, and has a reward for information that leads to an arrest. Police continues to search for three masked men with guns who followed Singh's wife into their home as she returned from taking out the garbage late at night last week.
Singh said the robbers woke up the couple's three children, ages 10, 11 and 13 at gunpoint and bound each family member with duct tape and proceeded to rob the house.
The robbery at Singh's house was the fourth one that has occurred in less than two weeks. In all the robberies, Indian-origin people were targetted just days after they celebrated Diwali.
Earlier, men of a similar description broke into three other homes in the area and tied up families and robbed them.
Indians put up traditional Diwali decorations as well as strings of electric lights in their houses and customarily bring out jewelry, money and other valuables from under lock and key. Knowledgeable thieves may be trying to take advantage of that, according to neighbours, who are very concerned.