NEWTON, MASS. (WHDH) - Police are continuing their search for a person of interest spotted near a number of recent break-ins in Newton.

Since June 1, five house break-ins have been reported in the city on Walnut Street, Dedham Street, Helene Road, Quinobequin Road, and Country Club Road, according to a community advisory issued by Newton police.

All of the break-ins involved forced entry, occurred during the daytime, on a weekend with no one home, and all of the victims were of Asian descent, the advisory read.

Surveillance video of one of the break-ins shows the person of interest peaking through the windows of a house.

Scott Chin lives at the residence and says he came home to find his back door smashed and glass everywhere.

“Once we got upstairs, we saw stuff strewn about or opened up, and then we went throughout the house and saw he went top to bottom looking for stuff,” he said.

Chin said the break-in added to an already stressful time.

“We lost my parents to COVID last year, so we were dealing with that and we had a lot of jewelry that my mom passed down and all that was taken. A lot of sentimental value there,” he said.

The suspect or suspects were able to get away with jewelry, cash, and handbags along with some other items during the string of break-ins, police said.

Detectives are actively seeking to learn if Asians are being specifically targeted but do not have any definitive information yet.

Newton Mayor Ruthanne Fuller said, “This is very unsettling to all of us, and especially our Asian community, after such a difficult year and a half.”

Earlier this year, the city experienced two sets of a series of break-ins. The first started on March 15 and the second started on April 9. Those break-ins did not indicate that anyone was specifically targeted and investigations led to the arrest of three men.

In total, Newton has had 45 house breaks so far in 2021.

Anyone with information regarding the recent break-ins is urged to call the Newton Police Department Detective Bureau at 617-796-2104 or use the anonymous tip line at 617-796-2121.

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