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Vietnamese Gang Members Held in Robberies

March 12, 1994

A group of Vietnamese American gang members have been charged with invading 19 homes and torturing the occupants to turn over valuables, police said Friday.

Charges of robbery, burglary, assault and torture were filed this week against seven people who have been jailed since their arrests in December, Sgt. Ron Black of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said.

The attacks took place between October and December.

The charges are part of an ongoing investigation by the Asian Organized Crime Unit into more than 200 home invasion robberies committed in the San Gabriel Valley last year, Black said. Asian immigrants were the targets, police said.

The seven suspects, all Vietnamese immigrants, belong to the "V-Boys," a loose-knit gang whose members tattoo themselves with five dots and have an oath that, translated, reads in part: "If you snitch, we'll kill you," Black said.

They are accused of taking $250,000 from 49 victims in 19 home holdups.

The robbers would break into a home at gunpoint, tie up the occupants and pistol-whip or burn them with cigarettes until they revealed the location of their valuables, Black said.

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