There are two recent crime stories I wanted to give SM readers a quick update on. First, some members of the South Asian Bling Ring operating in the Northern Virginia area finally got what was coming to them:
The husband in a couple that targeted South Asian families in Northern Virginia for break-ins pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiring to steal at least $500,000 worth of gold and other valuables in 37 burglaries.
Dagoberto Soto-Ramirez, 27, of New York City entered the plea in U.S. District Court in Alexandria less than a week after his wife admitted her guilt and described how the couple and third alleged conspirator — who remains at large — scrolled through names in phonebooks to target what they believed to be Indian homes.
The homes were chosen, the couple has told a federal judge, because the families often kept gold there as part of family customs. [Link]
Also, remember the brutal murder of Divyendu Sinha that we blogged about in July?
The five teens accused of fatally beating Prof. Divyendu Sinha have been charged with murder and will be tried as adults, announced the Middlesex, New Jersey County Prosecutor’s office Sept. 17.
The five suspects were also charged with assaulting Sinha’a two teenage sons, Ravi and Ashish, who attempted to defend their father as he was being attacked on the evening of June 25, near his Old Bridge, New Jersey home…
Jim O’Neill, spokesman for the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, told India-West that no motive had yet been established for the brutal beating.
O’Neill said he could not comment on whether hate crime enhancements would be added to the murder charges. In the three months since the attack, the local Indian American community has put steady pressure on the prosecutor’s office to charge the five juveniles with a hate crime.
The PAN IIT has also taken up Sinha’s case by writing a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. [Link]
Hope this will help bring some measure of closure to the victims in both cases, particularly Sinha’s family.