Since Oct. 20, a single New Jersey county has seen at least five home invasions targeting Indian-Americans, the New York Times reports. Most occurred in late October, when many families celebrate Diwali—a holiday that frequently involves gold jewelry. The latest Middlesex County incident, however, occurred on Saturday. "They duct taped our hands and legs and they dragged us literally on the floor, one by one," a victim tells CBS New York. Another previous victim describes her experience to the Times: When she went out back, men wearing black caps over their faces asked her, at gunpoint, where "the money" was, she says. Her family lost tens of thousands of dollars' worth of gold.
Many Indian-Americans live in the area, and thefts have previously occurred—but in those cases, the homes weren't occupied. The recent cases involve robbery at gunpoint. Locals have been frustrated with police, who haven't confirmed whether the latest crimes are linked, the Times reports (CBS notes that officials do say it's possible). "The first, second, third home invasion, OK, you don't think it’s a pattern," says an activist. "But after the third, you agree it is a pattern, but yet you don't want to talk to the press?" An official has, however, gone on TV to warn Indian-Americans to keep their homes safe, and police as well as the FBI are investigating. (Read more home invasion stories.)